To investigate the contribution of ions to gas nucleation, we have performed experiments on the formation of water droplets in H2O/N-2 and H2O/Ar gas mixtures by irradiation with a 20 MeV proton beam and by positive corona discharge. The size of the formed nanoparticles was measured using a differential mobility analyzer equipped with a Faraday cup electrometer. Using the proton beam, droplets around 10 nm in diameter were observed for both positively and negatively charged particles, but none were found when the corona discharge was used. This implies the importance of the presence of both positive and negative ions for the formation of nanosize droplets, which attract each other by Coulomb interactions, enhancing the collision frequency and leading to the formation of the 10 nm droplets.
- Humidified gas
- Proton beam
- Nanoparticle formation
- Differential mobility analyzer