05 Apr 2023
 | 05 Apr 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Development and characterization of the Portable Ice Nucleation Chamber 2 (PINCii)

Dimitri Castarède, Zoé Brasseur, Yusheng Wu, Zamin A. Kanji, Markus Hartmann, Lauri Ahonen, Merete Bilde, Markku Kulmala, Tuukka Petäjä, Jan B. C. Pettersson, Berko Sierau, Olaf Stetzer, Frank Stratmann, Birgitta Svenningsson, Erik Swietlicki, Quynh Thu Nguyen, Jonathan Duplissy, and Erik S. Thomson

Abstract. The Portable Ice Nucleation Chamber 2 (PINCii) is a newly developed continuous flow diffusion chamber (CFDC) for measuring ice nucleating particles (INPs). PINCii is a vertically-oriented parallel plate CFDC that has been engineered to improve upon limitations of previous generations of portable CFDCs. This work presents a detailed description of the PINCii instrument and the upgrades that make it unique compared to other operational CFDCs. The PINCii design offers several possibilities for improved INP measurements. Notably, a specific icing procedure results in low background particle counts, which demonstrates the potential for PINCii to measure INPs in very low concentrations. High spatial resolution walltemperature mapping enables the identification of temperature inhomogeneities on the chamber walls. This feature is used to introduce and discuss a new method to analyze CFDC data. A temperature gradient can be maintained throughout the evaporation section in addition to the main chamber, which enables PINCii to be used to study droplet activation processes or to extend ice crystal growth. A series of both liquid droplet activation and ice nucleation experiments were conducted at temperature and saturation conditions that span the spectrum of PINCii’s operational conditions (−50 ≤ temperature ≤ −15 °C and 100 ≤ relative humidity with respect to ice ≤ 160 %) to demonstrate the capabilities of PINCii. In addition, typical sources of uncertainty in CFDCs, including particle background, particle loss, and variations in aerosol lamina temperature and relative humidity, are quantified and discussed for PINCii.

Dimitri Castarède et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2023-51', Anonymous Referee #2, 26 Apr 2023
  • CC1: 'Comment on amt-2023-51', G. Kulkarni, 26 Apr 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2023-51', Paul DeMott, 27 Apr 2023

Dimitri Castarède et al.

Dimitri Castarède et al.


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Short summary
Clouds play a key role in Earth’s climate by influencing the surface energy budget. Certain types of atmospheric aerosols, called Ice Nucleating Particles (INPs), induce the formation of ice in clouds and thus often initiate precipitation formation. The Portable Ice Nucleation Chamber II (PINCii), is a new instrument developed to study ice formation and to conduct ambient measurements of INPs, allowing us to investigate the sources and properties of the atmospheric aerosols that can act as INPs.