Hygroscopicity of urban aerosols and its link to size-resolved chemical composition during spring and summer in Seoul, Korea

Najin Kim, Seong Soo Yum, Minsu Park, Jong Sung Park, Hye Jung Shin, Joon Young Ahn

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Chemical effects on the size-resolved hygroscopicity of urban aerosols were examined based on the Korea-US Air Quality Study (KORUS-AQ, 2020) field campaign data. The information on size-resolved hygroscopicity and the chemical composition of aerosols were obtained by a hygroscopic tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA) and a high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS), respectively. Good correspondence was shown between measured and estimated κ values calculated from the combination of bulk chemical composition data and oxidation parameters of organic aerosols (f44 and O=C). These results imply that chemical composition is closely associated with aerosol hygroscopicity. However, the correlation between measured and estimated κ values degraded as particle size decreased, implying that size-resolved chemical composition data are required for more detailed hygroscopicity analysis. In addition to size-resolved chemical data, the m=z tracer method was applied for size-resolved organic factors. Specifically, m=z 57 and 44 were used as AMS spectral markers for hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol (HOA) and oxygenated organic aerosol (OOA), respectively. These size-resolved chemical composition data were found to be critical in explaining size-dependent hygroscopicity, as well as the diurnal variation in κ for small particles, i.e., low κ in the morning and high κ in the afternoon. Additionally, aerosol mixing state information was associated with the size-resolved chemical composition data. That is to say that the relationship between the number fraction of each hygroscopicity mode and the volume fraction of different chemical composition was investigated. For example, the HOA volume fraction comprised about 60 % of the variation in less hygroscopic (LH) mode number fractions for externally mixed aerosols.

Original languageEnglish
Article number578
Pages (from-to)11245-11262
Number of pages18
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support. This research has been supported by a National

Funding Information:
This research has been supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (grant no. NRF-2018R1A2B2006965).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 EDP Sciences. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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