Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Solid or liquid - the particle size matters

26.01.2015

Max Planck researchers elucidate how the phase state of aerosol nanoparticles depends on their size

Whether tiny particles in the air, so-called aerosol nanoparticles, are solid or liquid, is of great importance to atmospheric and climate scientists. The phase state determines if and how fast such particles grow into cloud condensation nuclei on which water vapor can condense to form cloud droplets and precipitation.


The particle size of aerosol nanoparticles is as important for the phase state as the chemical composition and temperture. The 2D (left) and 3D (right) phase diagram illustrates this correlation.

Hang Su, MPI for Chemistry

Until recently, however, experimental observations of the solid-liquid phase transitions and humidity-dependent growth of atmospheric aerosol nanoparticles could not be explained by theoretical calculations and model predictions.

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry could now resolve the riddle. "The particle size is more important than we previously thought, "says Yafang Cheng, group leader at the institute in Mainz. "For example, salt particles can become liquid not only by increasing temperature or humidity, but also by reducing the particle size," says the lead author of a recent publication in Nature Communications.

The researchers around Yafang Cheng and Hang Su analyzed high precision measurement data on the hygroscopic growth of sodium chloride and ammonium sulfate nanoparticles exposed to varying relative humidity.

From these growth curves, the researchers calculated the interfacial energies and critical diameters for the solid-liquid phase transitions of the salt nanoparticles. According to similar analyses, the researchers expect that organic aerosol particles commonly occuring in large quantities in the atmosphere are always liquid at room temperature when their diameter is below approximately 20 nanometers.

"Based on our results the particle size should be considered as an additional dimension in the phase diagram of aerosol nanoparticles," says Cheng´s colleague Hang Su. “Our findings are also relevant for other research areas where nanoparticles play a role, including the biomedical and materials sciences.” For example, they may help to determine and control the solubility and concentration of therapeutic or reactive agents in in synthetic nanoparticles for medical or technical applications.

Original publication
Cheng et al., Size dependence of phase transitions in aerosol nanoparticles, Nature Comm., 6, 2015, doi:10.1038/ncomms6923
http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150114/ncomms6923/full/ncomms6923.html

Contact
Dr. Hang Su
Max Planck Institute for Chemistry
Telephone: +49-6131-3057301
E-Mail: h.su@mpic.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.mpic.de/en/news/press-information/news/solid-or-liquid-the-particle-s...

Dr. Susanne Benner | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Periodic ventilation keeps more pollen out than tilted-open windows

29.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Researchers discover dust plays prominent role in nutrients of mountain forest ecoystems

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

OLED production facility from a single source

29.03.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>