Calibration of, and measurements with, a volatility hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer

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Title: Calibration of, and measurements with, a volatility hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer
Author: Hakala, Jani
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Matemaattis-luonnontieteellinen tiedekunta, Fysiikan laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics
Helsingfors universitet, Matematisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för fysik
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2012
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Physics
Abstract: The most important parameters describing the aerosol particle population are the size, concentration and composition of the aerosol particles. The size and water content of the aerosol particles are dependent of the relative humidity of the ambient air. Hygroscopicity is a measure to describe the water absorption ability of an aerosol particle. Volatility of an aerosol defines how the aerosol particles behave as a function of temperature. A Volatility-Hygroscopicity Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer (VH-TDMA) is an instrument for size-selected investigation of particle number concentration, volatility, hygroscopicity and the hygroscopicity of the particle core, i.e. what is left of the particle after the volatilization. While knowing these qualities of aerosol particles, one can predict their behavior in different atmospheric conditions. Volatility and hygroscopicity can also be used for indirect analysis of chemical composition. The aim of this study was to build and characterize a VH-TDMA, and report the results of its field deployment at the California Nexus (CalNex) 2010 measurement campaign. The calibration measurements validated that with the VH-TDMA one can obtain accurate volatility and hygroscopicity measurements for particles between 20 nm and 145 nm. The CalNex 2010 results showed that the instrument is capable in field measurements at varying measurement conditions; and valuable data about hygroscopicty, volatility and the mixing state of several types of aerosols were measured. The data obtained was in line with the observations based on the data measured with other instruments.

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