Time-Resolved Measurements of the Evaporation of Volatile Components from Single Aerosol Droplets

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

80 Citations (Scopus)


A strategy for examining the dynamic hygroscopic response of single aerosol particles is reported, allowing a direct investigation of the interplay of thermodynamic and kinetic factors regulating the time dependence of particle size. In particular, we investigate the rapid evaporation of water from water-glycerol droplets, measuring the evolving size with a time resolution of <10 ms (with as low as 2.5 ms being possible) over a time range from subsecond to many hours. Measurements can be made on sequential droplets generated from a droplet-on-demand generator, and a reproducibility of better than +/-0.25 mu m in droplet size over tens of events can be achieved at any resolved time point considered during an evaporation process lasting >2 s. The time-dependent measurements of evolving droplet size are compared with an analytical treatment of the evaporation process. Excellent agreement between measurements and simulations is found over a wide range of starting droplet compositions. The benefits of using this approach for investigating water transport within the bulk of an aerosol particle or to/from the droplet surface are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-677
Number of pages12
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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