Ice nucleation efficiency of AgI: review and new insights

Claudia Marcolli, Baban Nagare, André Welti, Ulrike Lohmann
2016 Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions  
AgI is one of the best investigated ice nuclei. It has relevance for the atmosphere since it is used for glaciogenic cloud seeding. Theoretical and experimental studies over the last sixty years provide a complex picture of silver iodide as ice nucleating agent with conflicting and inconsistent results. This review compares experimental ice nucleation studies in order to analyse the factors that influence the ice nucleation ability of AgI. We have performed experiments to compare contact and
more » ... ersion freezing by AgI. This is one of three papers that describe and analyse contact and immersion freezing experiments with AgI. In Nagare et al. (Nagare, B., Marcolli, C., Stetzer, O., and Lohmann, U.: Comparison of measured and calculated collision efficiencies at low temperatures, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 13759–13776, doi:10.5194/acp-15-13759-2015, 2015) collision efficiencies based on contact freezing experiments with AgI are determined and compared with theoretical formulations. In a companion paper, contact freezing experiments are compared with immersion freezing experiments conducted with AgI, kaolinite, and ATD as ice nuclei. The following picture emerges from this analysis: The ice nucleation ability of AgI seems to be enhanced when the AgI particle is on the surface of a droplet, which is indeed the position that a particle takes when it can freely move in a droplet. Ice nucleation by particles with surfaces exposed to air, depends on water adsorption. AgI surfaces seem to be most efficient as ice nuclei when they are exposed to relative humidity at or even above water saturation. For AgI particles that are totally immersed in water, the freezing temperature increases with increasing AgI surface area. Higher threshold freezing temperature seem to correlate with improved lattice matches as can be seen for AgI-AgCl solid solutions and 3AgI•NH<sub>4</sub>I•6H<sub>2</sub>O, which have slightly better lattice matches with ice than AgI and also higher threshold freezing temperatures. However, the effect of a good lattice match is annihilated when the surfaces have charges. Also, the ice nucleation ability seems to decrease during dissolution of AgI particles. This introduces an additional history and time dependence of ice nucleation in cloud chambers with short residence times.
doi:10.5194/acp-2016-142 fatcat:fp33evqa4bhjngsvb3baj4lbri