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Comparison of Experimental and Theoretical Heterogeneous Nucleation on Ultrafine Carbon Particles

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posted on 18.12.2003, 00:00 by Doh-Won Lee, Philip K. Hopke, Don H. Rasmussen, Hwa-Chi Wang, Rashid Mavliev
Using a modified turbulent mixing CNC, the heterogeneous nucleation of different compounds (working fluids) on nanometer sized carbon particles was examined. The working fluids were dibutyl phthalate, octadecane, octadecanol, and octadecanoic acid. Based on the particle size distributions measured with a scanning mobility particle sizer system, nucleation and consequent growth were examined with respect to different temperature and vapor pressure for each working fluid. Nucleation rates for all conditions were calculated from the fitted size distribution data by subtracting the residual nonactivated particle concentration for each condition. Experimental nucleation rates were compared to the calculated ones based on Fletcher's heterogeneous nucleation theory. This theory matches well with the experiments with octadecanol and octadecanoic acid, and at high supersaturation ratios for dibutyl phthalate. However, the theory shows discrepancies with the observed phenomena at low supersaturation for dibutyl phthalate, and especially for octadecane. Several possible hypotheses for the discrepancies and observed particle growth are discussed.