Heterogeneous ice nucleation is a common process in the atmosphere, but relatively little is known about the role of different surface characteristics on the promotion of ice nucleation. We have used a series of iron oxides as a model system to study the role of lattice mismatch and defects induced by milling on ice nucleation activity. The iron oxides include wüstite (FeO), hematite (Fe2O3), magnetite (Fe3O4), and goethite (FeOOH). The iron oxides were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area measurements. The immersion freezing experiments were performed using an environmental chamber. Wüstite (FeO) had the highest ice nucleation activity, which we attribute to its low lattice mismatch with hexagonal ice and the exposure of Fe-OH after milling. A comparison study of MnO and wüstite (FeO) with milled and sieved samples for each suggests that physical defects alone result in only a slight increase in ice nucleation activity. Despite differences in the molecular formula and surface groups, hematite (Fe2O3), magnetite (Fe3O4), and goethite (FeOOH) had similar ice nucleation activities, which may be attributed to their high lattice mismatch to hexagonal ice. This study provides further insight into the characteristics of a good heterogeneous ice nucleus and, more generally, helps to elucidate the interactions between aerosol particles and ice particles in clouds.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry