Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

A DOE Office of Science User Facility

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Fundamental Studies of Ice Nucleation Using Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Principal Investigator: 
Alexander Laskin
Lead Institution: 
Purdue University
Closed Date: 
Friday, September 30, 2016
Project ID: 

The proposed research is to demonstrate applicability of a novel experimental platform for systematic studies of ice nucleation efficiency of atmospheric particles with determination of physicochemical properties of nucleating sites at microscopic level and other controlling factors. These experimental data will be of critical importance to elucidate fundamental processes of aerosol-ice cloud interactions -- one of the most challenging problems for predictive understanding of Earth's climate change. Hosted by environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM), we will develop a new capability to allow observation of ice nucleation over individual complex particles (ice nuclei, IN) relevant to anthropogenic and biogenic emissions at temperatures and relative humidity with respect to ice (RHice) typical for ice-containing cloud formation. Using the IN-ESEM platform, the resulting nano-scale visualization of ice nucleation and quantitative characterization of nucleating sites will be used to improve ice nucleation parameterizations for cloud and climate models.