The viscosity of atmospherically relevant organic particles

Jonathan P. Reid*, Allan K. Bertram, David O. Topping, Alexander Laskin, Scot T. Martin, Markus D. Petters, Francis D. Pope, Grazia Rovelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

245 Citations (Scopus)
407 Downloads (Pure)


The importance of organic aerosol particles in the environment has been long established, influencing cloud formation and lifetime, absorbing and scattering sunlight, affecting atmospheric composition and impacting on human health. Conventionally, ambient organic particles were considered to exist as liquids. Recent observations in field measurements and studies in the laboratory suggest that they may instead exist as highly viscous semi-solids or amorphous glassy solids under certain conditions, with important implications for atmospheric chemistry, climate and air quality. This review explores our understanding of aerosol particle phase, particularly as identified by measurements of the viscosity of organic particles, and the atmospheric implications of phase state.

Original languageEnglish
Article number956
Number of pages14
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2018


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