Ice formation induced by atmospheric particles through heterogeneous nucleation is not well understood. Onset conditions for heterogeneous ice nucleation and water uptake by particles collected in Los Angeles and Mexico City were determined as a function of temperature (200–273 K) and relative humidity with respect to ice (RHice). Four dominant particle types were identified including soot associated with organics, soot with organic and inorganics, inorganic particles of marine origin coated with organic material, and Pb/Zn-containing particles apportioned to emissions relevant to waste incineration. Single particle characterization was provided by micro-spectroscopic analyses using computer controlled scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive analysis of X-rays (CCSEM/EDX) and scanning transmission X-ray microscopy with near edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (STXM/NEXAFS). Above 230 K, significant differences in onsets of water uptake and immersion freezing of different particle types were observed. Below 230 K, particles exhibited high deposition ice nucleation efficiencies and formed ice atRHicewell below homogeneous ice nucleation limits. The data suggest that water uptake and immersion freezing are more sensitive to changes in particle chemical composition compared to deposition ice nucleation. The data demonstrate that anthropogenic and marine influenced particles, exhibiting various chemical and physical properties, possess distinctly different ice nucleation efficiencies and can serve as efficient IN at atmospheric conditions typical for cirrus and mixed-phase clouds.