Articles | Volume 15, issue 12
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-15-3859-2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-15-3859-2022
Research article
 | 
29 Jun 2022
Research article |  | 29 Jun 2022

Substantial organic impurities at the surface of synthetic ammonium sulfate particles

Junteng Wu, Nicolas Brun, Juan Miguel González-Sánchez, Badr R'Mili, Brice Temime Roussel, Sylvain Ravier, Jean-Louis Clément, and Anne Monod

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Cited articles

Abbatt, J. P. D., Broekhuizen, K., and Pradeep Kumar, P.: Cloud condensation nucleus activity of internally mixed ammonium sulfate/organic acid aerosol particles, Atmos. Environ., 39, 4767–4778, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2005.04.029, 2005. 
Aiken, A. C., DeCarlo, P. F., and Jimenez, J. L.: Elemental Analysis of Organic Species with Electron Ionization High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry, Anal. Chem., 79, 8350–8358, https://doi.org/10.1021/ac071150w, 2007. 
Andreae, M. O. and Rosenfeld, D.: Aerosol–cloud–precipitation interactions. Part 1. The nature and sources of cloud-active aerosols, Earth-Sci. Rev., 89, 13–41, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2008.03.001, 2008. 
Arabadzhieva, D., Tchoukov, P., and Mileva, E.: Impact of Adsorption Layer Properties on Drainage Behavior of Microscopic Foam Films: The Case of Cationic/Nonionic Surfactant Mixtures, Colloids Interfaces, 4, 53, https://doi.org/10.3390/colloids4040053, 2020. 
Badger, C. L., George, I., Griffiths, P. T., Braban, C. F., Cox, R. A., and Abbatt, J. P. D.: Phase transitions and hygroscopic growth of aerosol particles containing humic acid and mixtures of humic acid and ammonium sulphate, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 6, 755–768, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-6-755-2006, 2006. 
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Short summary
This work quantified and tentatively identified the organic impurities on ammonium sulfate aerosols generated in the laboratory. They are likely low volatile and high mass molecules containing oxygen, nitrogen, and/or sulfur. Our results show that these organic impurities likely originate from the commercial AS crystals. It is recommended to use AS seeds with caution, especially when small particles are used, in terms of AS purity and water purity when aqueous solutions are used for atomization.