Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from the Œ±-pinene + ozone reaction readily coats TiO2 and CeO2 metal?oxide nanoparticles in smog-chamber experiments under atmospherically relevant conditions. Otherwise identical experiments compared bare nanoparticles and nanoparticles coated with poly(acrylic acid) (PAA). The PAA-coated particles result in significantly higher new-particle formation rates, suggesting that the SOA vapors coat bare metal oxide more readily than the PAA. After particles begin to grow via SOA coating, however, all particles, independent of size or the presence of a metal?oxide core, grow with a rate proportional to their surface area, modified to account for gas-phase diffusion in the transition regime between the kinetic and bulk-flow regimes. This suggests that SOA condensational growth may be modeled based on the size distribution of the condensational sink in the atmosphere.