cpc > Condensation Particle CounterInstrument Type(s) > Baseline • Evaluation • External • Guest

The condensation particle counter (CPC) measures sub-micron aerosol particle number concentration by condensing fluid onto particles and causing them to grow to sizes that are easily detectable by optical scattering. The condensing liquid is typically an alcohol (e.g., butanol) or water.

Depending on the CPC type, typical CPC instruments can count particles with sizes that range from 3 to 3000 nanometers (ultrafine CPC) or from 10 to 3000 nanometers (fine CPC). The CPC is part of the aerosol observing system (AOS).

Primary Derived Measurements


  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3


Mei F, J Wang, S Zhou, Q Zhang, S Collier, and J Xu. 2021. "Measurement report: Cloud condensation nuclei activity and its variation with organic oxidation level and volatility observed during an aerosol life cycle intensive operational period (ALC-IOP)." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21(17), 10.5194/acp-21-13019-2021.

Subba T, M Lawler, and A Steiner. 2021. "Estimation of possible primary biological particle emissions and rupture events at the Southern Great Plains ARM site." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 126(16), e2021JD034679, 10.1029/2021JD034679.

Kulkarni GR, MS Levin, and JE Shilling. 2021. Cloud Condensation Nuclei Hygroscopicity Value-Added Product Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-TR-272.

Humphries R, M Keywood, S Gribben, I McRobert, J Ward, P Selleck, S Taylor, J Harnwell, C Flynn, G Kulkarni, G Mace, A Protat, S Alexander, and G McFarquhar. 2021. "Southern Ocean latitudinal gradients of cloud condensation nuclei." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21(16), 10.5194/acp-21-12757-2021.

Patel P and J Jiang. 2021. "Cloud condensation nuclei characteristics at the Southern Great Plains site: role of particle size distribution and aerosol hygroscopicity." Environmental Research Communications, 3(7), 10.1088/2515-7620/ac0e0b.

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