Characterizing New Particle Formation and Growth

1 October 2021 - 27 May 2022

Lead Scientist: Eleanor Browne

Observatory: sgp, sgp

Despite recent progress in our understanding of new particle formation and growth, significant uncertainty remains regarding how the various pathways of formation and growth vary temporally and spatially in the atmosphere. Co-located measurements by chemical ionization mass spectrometry and atmospheric pressure interface mass spectrometry have been transforming our understanding of particle formation and growth over the past several years. However, these measurements have been performed in only a few ecosystems. With its combined influences of biogenic and anthropogenic sources, the U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility’s Southern Great Plains (SGP) observatory is ideal for using these techniques to test our understanding of the processes controlling particle formation and growth.

This study proposes to advance the understanding of aerosol formation and growth through measurements of the gas-phase species affecting new particle formation and growth at the SGP research facility. Specifically, this work will (1) identify and quantify gas-phase bases (ammonia, amines, urea), oxygenated organics, and ambient ions at SGP in two different seasons, (2) investigate the connection between gaseous composition and rates of particle formation and growth, (3) investigate if novel nitrogen compounds (e.g., urea, diamines) contribute to particle formation, and (4) investigate the processes controlling the abundance of gas-phase bases.


Manjula Canagaratna
Jordan Krechmer
Harald Stark
Douglas Worsnop