Revolutionizing Hailstone Analysis: Exploring Non-Soluble Particles through Innovative Confocal Laser and Scanning Electron Microscopy Techniques
Abstract. This paper introduces an innovative microscopy analysis methodology to preserve in situ non-soluble particles within hailstones using a protective porous plastic coating, overcoming previous limitations related to melting the hailstone sample. The method is composed of two techniques: trapping non-soluble particles beneath a plastic coat by using the adapted sublimation technique and then analyzing the particles individually with both Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy-Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS). CLSM provides insights into physical attributes like particle size and surface topography, enhancing understanding of ice nucleation. SEM-EDS complements CLSM by offering detailed information on individual particle elemental chemistry, enabling classification based on composition. Strategies to reduce background noise from glass substrates during EDS spectral analysis are proposed. By combining powerful, high resolution microscopy techniques, this methodology provides valuable data on hailstone composition and properties. This information can give insights into hail developmental processes by enhancing our understanding of the role of atmospheric particles.
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