Understanding hygroscopic growth and phase transformation of aerosols using single particle Raman spectroscopy in an electrodynamic balance

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-263
Journal / PublicationFaraday Discussions
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


Hygroscopic growth is one of the most fundamental properties of atmospheric aerosols. By absorbing or evaporating water, an aerosol particle changes its size, morphology, phase, chemical composition and reactivity and other parameters such as its refractive index. These changes affect the fate and the environmental impacts of atmospheric aerosols, including global climate change. The ElectroDynamic Balance (EDB) has been widely accepted as a unique tool for measuring hygroscopic properties and for investigating phase transformation of aerosols via single particle levitation. Coupled with Raman spectroscopy, an EDB/Raman system is a powerful tool that can be used to investigate both physical and chemical changes associated with the hygroscopic properties of individually levitated particles under controlled environments. In this paper, we report the use of an EDB/Raman system to investigate (1) contact ion pairs formation in supersaturated magnesium sulfate solutions; (2) phase transformation in ammonium nitrate/ammonium sulfate mixed particles; (3) hygroscopicity of organically coated inorganic aerosols; and (4) heterogeneous reactions altering the hygroscopicity of organic aerosols. © The Royal Society of Chemistry.