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Data for “On-chip analysis of atmospheric ice-nucleating particles in continuous flow”

Tarn, Mark D. and Sikora, Sebastien N. F. and Porter, Grace C. E. and Wyld, Bethany V. and Alayof, Matan and Reicher, Naama and Harrison, Alexander D. and Rudich, Yinon and Shim, Jung-uk and Murray, Benjamin J. (2020) Data for “On-chip analysis of atmospheric ice-nucleating particles in continuous flow”. University of Leeds. [Dataset] https://doi.org/10.5518/847

Dataset description

Ice-nucleating particles (INPs) are of atmospheric importance because they catalyse freezing of supercooled cloud droplets, strongly affecting the lifetime and radiative properties of clouds. There is a need to improve our knowledge of the global distribution of INPs, their seasonal cycles and long-term trends, but our capability to make these measurements is limited. Atmospheric INP concentrations are often determined using assays involving arrays of droplets on a cold stage, but such assays are frequently limited by the number of droplets that can be analysed per experiment, often involves manual processing (e.g. pipetting of droplets), and can be susceptible to contamination. Here, we present a microfluidic platform, the LOC-NIPI (Lab-on-a-Chip Nucleation by Immersed Particle Instrument), for the generation of water-in-oil droplets and their freezing in continuous flow as they pass over a cold plate. LOC-NIPI allows the user to define the number of droplets analysed by simply running the platform for as long as required. The use of small (~100 µm diameter) droplets minimises the probability of contamination in any one droplet and therefore allows supercooling all the way down to homogeneous freezing (around −36 °C), while a temperature probe in a proxy channel provided an accurate measure of temperature without the need for temperature modelling. The platform was validated using samples of pollen and Snomax®, with hundreds of droplets analysed per temperature step and thousands of droplets being measured per experiment. Homogeneous freezing of purified water was studied using >10,000 droplets with temperature increments of 0.1 °C. The results were reproducible, independent of flow rate in the ranges tested, and the data compared well to conventional instrumentation and literature data. The LOC-NIPI was further benchmarked in a field campaign in the Eastern Mediterranean against other well-characterised instrumentation. The continuous flow nature of the system provides a route for the future development to automated monitoring of atmospheric INP at field sites around the globe.

Subjects: F000 - Physical sciences > F700 - Science of aquatic & terrestrial environments > F750 - Environmental sciences
F000 - Physical sciences > F300 - Physics > F310 - Applied physics > F311 - Engineering physics
Divisions: Faculty of Environment > School of Earth and Environment
Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences > School of Physics and Astronomy
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LocationType
https://doi.org/10.1039/d0lc00251hPublication
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Date deposited: 14 Aug 2020 15:33
URI: http://archive.researchdata.leeds.ac.uk/id/eprint/728

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