Diamine-sulfuric acid reactions are a potent source of new particle formation

Coty N. Jen, Ryan Bachman, Jun Zhao, Peter H McMurry, David R. Hanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Atmospheric nucleation from sulfuric acid depends on the concentrations and the stabilizing effect of other trace gases, such as ammonia and amines. Diamines are an understudied class of atmospherically relevant compounds, and we examine how they affect sulfuric acid nucleation in both flow reactor experiments and the atmosphere. The number of particles produced from sulfuric acid and diamines in the flow reactor was equal to or greater than the number formed from monoamines, implying that diamines are more effective nucleating agents. Upper limits of diamine abundance were also monitored during three field campaigns: Lamont, OK (2013); Lewes, DE (2012); and Atlanta, GA (2009). Mixing ratios were measured as high as tens of parts per trillion by volume (GA and OK). Laboratory results suggest that diamines at these levels are important for atmospheric nucleation. Diamines likely participate in atmospheric nucleation and should be considered in nucleation measurements and models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)867-873
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 28 2016

Bibliographical note

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© 2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


  • amines
  • atmospheric nucleation
  • diamines
  • flow reactor
  • sulfuric acid


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