An open-hardware community ice nucleation cold stage for research and teaching

Sunandan Mahant, Shweta Yadav, Cameron Gilbert, Eva R Kjærgaard, Mads M Jensen, Tommy Kessler, Merete Bilde, Markus D Petters*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Aerosol particles with rare specific properties act as nuclei for ice formation. The presence of ice nucleating particles in the atmosphere leads to heterogeneous freezing at warm temperatures and thus these particles play an important role in modulating microphysical properties of clouds. This work presents an ice nucleation cold stage instrument for measuring the concentration of ice nucleating particles in liquids. The cost is ∼ $10 k including an external chiller. Using a lower cost heat sink reduces the cost to ∼ $6 k. The instrument is suitable for studying ambient ice nucleating particle concentrations and laboratory-based process-level studies of ice nucleation. The design plans allow individuals to self-manufacture the cold-stage using 3D printing, off-the-shelf parts, and a handful of standard tools. Software to operate the instrument and analyze the data is also provided. The design is intended to be simple enough that a graduate student can build it as part of a course or thesis project. Costs are kept to a minimum to facilitate use in classroom demonstrations and laboratory classes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00491
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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