The phase state of aerosol particles can impact numerous atmospheric processes, including new particle growth, heterogeneous chemistry, cloud condensation nucleus formation, and ice nucleation. In this article, the phase transitions of inorganic, organic, and organic/inorganic aerosol particles are discussed, with particular focus on liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS). The physical chemistry that determines whether LLPS occurs, at what relative humidity it occurs, and the resultant particle morphology is explained using both theoretical and experimental methods. The known impacts of LLPS on aerosol processes in the atmosphere are discussed. Finally, potential evidence for LLPS from field and chamber studies is presented. By understanding the physical chemistry of the phase transitions of aerosol particles, we will acquire a better understanding of aerosol processes, which in turn impact human health and climate.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 75 is April 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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