The influence of methane, acetylene and carbon dioxide on the crystallization of supercooled ethane droplets in Titan’s clouds

E.Kathrin Lang, Kerry J. Knox, Chia C. Wang, Ruth Signorell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spectroscopic studies of the homogeneous and heterogeneous crystallization of supercooled ethane aerosol droplets performed under conditions representative of those in Titan's lower atmosphere are presented. Pure ethane aerosols and both internally- and externally-mixed ensembles of ethane/acetylene and ethane/carbon dioxide aerosols were generated in a bath gas cooling cell and their freezing dynamics monitored using infrared absorption spectroscopy. A detailed overview of the spectroscopic signatures of pure ethane and mixed ethane/acetylene and ethane/carbon dioxide aerosols and their phase-dependence is provided. The ice-nucleating efficiencies of acetylene and carbon dioxide aerosols were compared, as were the efficiencies of freezing via an immersion or contact freezing mechanism. The spectral data provided will be of significant use for remote sensing applications, while the nucleation studies have important consequences for models of Titan's ethane clouds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-732
Number of pages11
JournalPlanetary and space science
Issue number8
Early online date21 Feb 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • Titan
  • Aerosol
  • Ethane
  • Infrared spectroscopy
  • Nucleation
  • Freezing mechanism

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