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Charging of meteoric smoke and ice particles in the mesosphere including photoemission and photodetachment rates
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
2011 (English)In: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, ISSN 1364-6826, Vol. 73, no 14-15, 2212-2220 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Charge probability distributions and charge number densities are presented for three types of particles that occur in the polar summer mesosphere: NLC particles (ice particles), meteoric smoke particles (MSP), and MSP covered in ice. Charge probability distributions and charge number densities are found using a kinetic rate equation including photoemission and photodetachment rates. Due to the large workfunction of ice, photoemission rates for NLC particles are negligible. The electron affinity for ice is an order of magnitude lower than the workfunction, thus photodetachment is a significant charging process. In the absence of photo-charging effects, an NLC particle will charge negatively by electron collection, and a particle above 10 nm in radius will have a charge that increases approximately linearly with radius. However when photodetachment is included, the number of electrons that attach to an NLC particle above 10 nm in radius is limited. Metal oxides such as Fe(2)O(3) have been suggested as a primary constituent of MSP. Assuming that the optical properties of MSP can be represented by these metal oxides, photoemission and photodetachment rates are comparable to electron attachment rates resulting in positively charged MSP. Photoemission, therefore, may help explain the multiple observations of positive particles observed in the mesosphere. In addition, the existence of positively charged MSP has implications for the formation of NLC particles. NLC particles with a core of meteoric smoke have an increased photodetachment rate, making the mean charge of the particle less negative. NLC particles with densities larger than the electron and ion densities calculated both with and without photodetachment show the coexistence of positive and negative particles. Large number densities of NLC particles are another possible explanation for the simultaneous occurrence of positive and negative particles observed by rocket-borne instruments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 73, no 14-15, 2212-2220 p.
Keyword [en]
Polar summer mesosphere, Meteoric smoke, Charging processes, NLC ice nucleation
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-67271DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2011.01.008ISI: 000295551000019OAI: diva2:470946
authorCount :4Available from: 2011-12-30 Created: 2011-12-27 Last updated: 2011-12-30Bibliographically approved

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Gumbel, Jörg
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