Ice nucleation on soot in contrails and cirrus: Laboratory view

O. B. Popovicheva, P. J. DeMott, K. A. Koehler, S. M. Kreidenweis, M. D. Petters, C. M. Carrico, N. Shonija, E. Kireeva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Laboratory studies of water uptake and ice nucleation (for temperatures ≤ -40°C) are presented for combustion particles of a wide range of physico-chemical properties, from hydrophobic through a range of hydrophilicity, to hygroscopic ones. Different mechanisms of water interactions with aircraft-generated soot aerosols of various compositions are considered for contrail and cirrus formation conditions. The findings generally confirm that heterogeneous ice nucleation is a function of surface oxidation of hydrophilic soot, hydrophobic soot initiates the ice phase from water vapor only at water supersaturated conditions while hygroscopic soot behaves in a manner reflecting homogeneous freezing with particles containing soluble matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-56
Number of pages6
JournalDLR Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. - Forschungsberichte
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 20 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Aircraft particulates
  • Cirrus
  • Contrail
  • Ice nucleation
  • Soot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Applied Mathematics


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