Sulphuric acid aerosols in low oxygen environments

Martin B. Enghoff*, Nir J. Shaviv, Henrik Svensmark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Experiments on sulphuric acid nucleation in low oxygen atmospheres were done in order to investigate the role of nucleation in the Archean atmosphere. Nucleation initiated by photolysis of SO2 and subsequent reaction between atomic O and SO2 was measured with a PSM and a separate CPC. The parameters were <10 ppm O2 with varying levels of SO2 (4 levels from 40 to 105 ppb), RH (3 levels from 0 to 51%), UV light (254 nm, 4 levels from 55 to 100% power), and ionization (2 levels: Background (∼3 cm−3 s−1) and increased w. gamma sources (∼42 cm−3 s−1)). We find that nucleation is possible under these conditions and that the measured formation rates correlate positively with all varied parameters. This suggests that the sulphuric acid nucleation system could have played a role in the Archean atmosphere.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number105956
JournalJournal of Aerosol Science
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Archean atmosphere
  • Ionization
  • Low oxygen
  • Nucleation
  • Relative humidity
  • Sulphuric acid
  • UV


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