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Chin. Phys. B, 2021, Vol. 30(1): 010504    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/abca1e

Surface active agents stabilize nanodroplets and enhance haze formation

Yunqing Ma(马韵箐), Changsheng Chen(陈昌盛), and Xianren Zhang(张现仁)†
State Key Laboratory of Organic-inorganic Composites, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
Abstract  Although many organic molecules found commonly in the atmosphere are known to be surface-active in aqueous solutions, their effects on the mechanisms underlying haze formation remain unclear. In this paper, based on a simple thermodynamic analysis, we report that the adsorption of amphiphilic organics alone not only lowers the surface tension, but also unexpectedly stabilizes nanodroplets of specific size under water vapor supersaturation. Then we determine how various factors, including relative humidity, water activity effect due to dissolution of inorganic components as well as surface tension effect due to surface adsorption of organic components, cooperatively induce the stability of nanodroplets. The nanodroplet stability behaviors not captured in the current theory would change the formation mechanism of haze droplets, from the hygroscopic growth pathway to a nonclassical two-step nucleation pathway.
Keywords:  nanodroplet      stability      aerosol      haze      nucleation  
Received:  09 November 2020      Revised:  09 November 2020      Accepted manuscript online:  13 November 2020
PACS:  05.70.Np (Interface and surface thermodynamics)  
  64.60.Q- (Nucleation)  
  92.60.Mt (Particles and aerosols)  
Fund: Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 21978007)
Corresponding Authors:  Corresponding author. E-mail:   

Cite this article: 

Yunqing Ma(马韵箐), Changsheng Chen(陈昌盛), and Xianren Zhang(张现仁) Surface active agents stabilize nanodroplets and enhance haze formation 2021 Chin. Phys. B 30 010504

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