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Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 64, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
; Fax: +358 9 191 50860
; Tel: +358 9 191 50710
Department of Applied Environmental Science & Bert Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden
; Fax: +46 8 674 7638
; Tel: +46 73 585 9251
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012,41, 5160-5173
05 Jan 2012,
First published online
18 Jun 2012
In this tutorial review we summarize the standard approaches to describe aerosol formation from atmospheric vapours and subsequent growth – with a particular emphasis on the interplay between equilibrium thermodynamics and non-equilibrium transport. We review the use of thermodynamics in describing phase equilibria and formation of aerosol particles from supersaturated vapour via nucleation. We also discuss the kinetics of cluster formation and transport phenomena, which are used to describe dynamic mass transport between the gaseous and condensed phases in a non-equilibrium system. Finally, we put these theories into the context of atmospheric observations of aerosol formation and growth.
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