Measuring the morphology and density of internally mixed black carbon with SP2 and VTDMA: new insight into the absorption enhancement of black carbon in the atmosphere
- 1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
- 2Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, 55020 Mainz, Germany
- 3Leibniz-Institute for Tropospheric Research, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
- 4State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
- 5State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
- 6The Collaborative Innovation Center for Regional Environmental Quality, Beijing 100084, China
Abstract. The morphology and density of black carbon (BC) cores in internally mixed BC (In-BC) particles affect their mixing state and absorption enhancement. In this work, we developed a new method to measure the morphology and effective density of the BC cores of ambient In-BC particles using a single-particle soot photometer (SP2) and a volatility tandem differential mobility analyzer (VTDMA) during the CAREBeijing-2013 campaign from 8 to 27 July 2013 at Xianghe Observatory. This new measurement system can select size-resolved ambient In-BC particles and measure the mobility diameter and mass of the In-BC cores. The morphology and effective density of the ambient In-BC cores are then calculated. For the In-BC cores in the atmosphere, changes in their dynamic shape factor (χ) and effective density (ρeff) can be characterized as a function of the aging process (Dp∕Dc) measured by SP2 and VTDMA. During an intensive field study, the ambient In-BC cores had an average shape factor χ of ∼ 1.2 and an average density of ∼ 1.2 g cm−3, indicating that ambient In-BC cores have a near-spherical shape with an internal void of ∼ 30 %. From the measured morphology and density, the average shell ∕ core ratio and absorption enhancement (Eab) of ambient BC were estimated to be 2.1–2.7 and 1.6–1.9, respectively, for In-BC particles with sizes of 200–350 nm. When the In-BC cores were assumed to have a void-free BC sphere with a density of 1.8 g cm−3, the shell ∕ core ratio and Eab were overestimated by ∼ 13 and ∼ 17 %, respectively. The new approach developed in this work improves the calculations of the mixing state and optical properties of ambient In-BC particles by quantifying the changes in the morphology and density of ambient In-BC cores during aging.