cpc: Condensation Particle Counter

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).


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Kalesse H, G DeBoer, A Solomon, M Oue, M Ahlgrimm, D Zhang, M Shupe, E Luke, and A Protat. 2016. "Understanding Rapid Changes in Phase Partitioning between Cloud Liquid and Ice in Stratiform Mixed-Phase Clouds: An Arctic Case Study." Monthly Weather Review, 144(12), 10.1175/mwr-d-16-0155.1. ONLINE.

Cecchini MA, LA Machado, JM Comstock, F Mei, J Wang, J Fan, JM Tomlinson, B Schmid, R Albrecht, ST Martin, and P Artaxo. 2016. "Impacts of the Manaus pollution plume on the microphysical properties of Amazonian warm-phase clouds in the wet season." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, , 10.5194/acp-16-7029-2016.

Kuang C. 2016. Condensation Particle Counter Instrument Handbook. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-TR-145.


Painemal D, P Minnis, and ML Nordeen. 2015. "Aerosol variability, synoptic-scale processes, and their link to the cloud microphysics over the northeast Pacific during MAGIC." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 120(10), 10.1002/2015jd023175.


Senum G and C Kuang. 2012. Inter-comparison of Aerosol Hygroscopic Properties as Measured by Several Instruments in the Summer 2011 Aerosol Lifecycle IOP. Presented at 3rd Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Science Team Meeting. Arlington, VA.

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