Acta Chimica Sinica ›› 2013, Vol. 71 ›› Issue (04): 519-527.DOI: 10.6023/A12121062 Previous Articles     Next Articles



王志彬, 胡敏, 吴志军, 岳玎利   

  1. 北京大学环境模拟与污染控制国家重点实验室 北京大学环境科学与工程学院 北京 100871
  • 投稿日期:2012-12-18 发布日期:2013-02-06
  • 通讯作者: 胡敏
  • 基金资助:

    项目受国家自然科学基金(Nos. 21025728, 20977001, 21190052)和国家环保公益性行业科研专项(No. 201009002)资助.

Research on the Formation Mechanisms of New Particles in the Atmosphere

Wang Zhibin, Hu Min, Wu Zhijun, Yue Dingli   

  1. State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2012-12-18 Published:2013-02-06
  • Supported by:

    Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21025728, 20977001, 21190052) and the China Ministry of Environmental Protection's Special Funds for Scientific Research on Public Welfare (No. 201009002).

New particle formation (NPF) in the atmosphere i.e. nucleation of gas phase precursors and continuing condensational growth is a crucial secondary transformation process. The freshly nucleated particles can grow into sizes where they can act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and further influence cloud and climate-relevant properties. Hence, the detailed knowledge on the formation mechanisms of new particles and their subsequent growth will help us to improve our understanding on the regional air pollution and global climate change. Recent-developed measurement techniques enable to explore atmospheric nucleation by measuring particles/clusters down to 1 nm. NPF events have been observed in a variety of atmospheric environments. Several methods including field observation, laboratory simulations and model calculations are implemented to investigate the nucleation mechanisms and growth properties. Good agreement between particle formation rates and gaseous sulfuric acid concentrations is observed, indicating that sulfuric acid is a key compnent in the atmospheric nucleation process. In addition, the low-volatile organic vapors are found to be involved in new particle formation. However, the huge variations of the particle formation and growth rates in diverse atmospheric environments suggest that a consistent picture on formation mechanisms of new particles does not achieve. Long-term continuous measurements of NPF events have been first performed in the urban atmosphere of Beijing since 2004. Up to now, NPF events have been observed in many different environments, including coastal area, high-elevation mountain, rural site as well as urban region in China. The current nucleation mechanisms are developed based on the observation in clean environment. Hence, whether it could well explain the NPF events occurred in the polluted atmosphere with strong oxidation capacity is a key issue to be addressed in further studies. This paper reviews the measurement techniques for investigating atmospheric new particle formation and growth, summarizes the observation results in various typical environments, introduces the current understanding of the nucleation mechanisms and discusses the main scientific questions that need further researches.

Key words: new particle formation, nucleation mechanism, growth property, measurement technique, precursor