Browsing by Subject "Aerosol size distribution"

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  • Kangasluoma, Juha; Cai, Runlong; Jiang, Jingkun; Deng, Chenjuan; Stolzenburg, Dominik; Ahonen, Lauri R.; Chan, Tommy; Fu, Yueyun; Kim, Changhyuk; Laurila, Tiia M.; Zhou, Ying; Dada, Lubna; Sulo, Juha; Flagan, Richard C.; Kulmala, Markku; Petaja, Tuukka; Lehtipalo, Katrianne (2020)
    Interest in understanding gas-to-particle phase transformation in several disciplines such as at-mospheric sciences, material synthesis, and combustion has led to the development of several distinct instruments that can measure the particle size distributions down to the sizes of large molecules and molecular clusters, at which the initial particle formation and growth takes place. These instruments, which include the condensation particle counter battery, a variety of electrical mobility spectrometers and the particle size magnifier, have been usually characterized in lab-oratory experiments using carefully prepared calibration aerosols. They are then applied, alone or in combination, to study the gas-to-particle transition in experiments that produce particles with a wide range of compositions and other properties. Only a few instrument intercomparisons in either laboratory or field conditions have been reported, raising the question: how accurately can the sub-10 nm particle number size distributions be measured with the currently available instrumentation? Here, we review previous studies in which sub-10 nm particle size distributions have been measured with at least two independent instruments. We present recent data from three sites that deploy the current state-of-the-art instrumentation: Hyytiala, Beijing, and the CLOUD chamber. After discussing the status of the sub-10 nm size distribution measurements, we present a comprehensive uncertainty analysis for these methods that suggests that our present understanding on the sources of uncertainties quite well captures the observed deviations be-tween different instruments in the size distribution measurements. Finally, based on present understanding of the characteristics of a number of systems in which gas-to-particle conversion takes place, and of the instrumental limitations, we suggest guidelines for selecting suitable in-struments for various applications.
  • Cai, Runlong; Jiang, Jingkun; Mirme, Sander; Kangasluoma, Juha (2019)
    Measuring aerosol size distributions accurately down to similar to 1 nm is a key to nucleation studies, and it requires developments and improvements in instruments such as electrical mobility spectrometers in use today. The key factors characterizing the performance of an electrical mobility spectrometer for sub-3 nm particles are discussed in this study. A parameter named as Pi is proposed as a figure of merit for the performance of an electrical mobility spectrometer in the sub-3 nm size range instead of the overall detection efficiency. Pi includes the overall detection efficiency, the measurement time in each size bin, the aerosol flow rate passing through the detector, and the aerosol-to-sheath flow ratio of the differential mobility analyzer. The particle raw count number recorded by the detector can be estimated using Pi at a given aerosol size distribution function, dN/dlogd(p)( ). The limit of detection for the spectrometer and the statistical uncertainty of the measured aerosol size distribution can also be readily estimated using Pi. In addition to Pi, the size resolution of an electrical mobility analyzer is another factor characterizing the systematic errors originated from particle sizing. Four existing electrical mobility spectrometers designed for measuring sub-3 nm aerosol size distributions, including three scanning/differential mobility particle spectrometers and one differential mobility analyzer train, are examined. Their optimal performance is evaluated using Pi and the size resolution. For example, the Pi value and the size resolution of a diethylene-glycol differential mobility particle spectrometer for 1.5 nm particles are 8.0 x 10(-4) cm(3) and 5.7, respectively. The corresponding relative uncertainty of the measured size distribution is approximately 9.6% during an atmospheric new particle formation event with a dN/dlogd(p) of 5 x 10(5) cm(-3) . Assuming an adjustable sheath flow rate of the differential mobility analyzer, the optimal size resolution is approximately 5-9 when measuring atmospheric new particle formation events.