A Portable Instrument for Aerosol Particle Characterization

EPA Grant Number: U915771
Title: A Portable Instrument for Aerosol Particle Characterization
Investigators: Lake, Derek A.
Institution: University of Delaware
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: August 1, 2000 through August 1, 2002
Project Amount: $70,864
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2000) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Fellowship - Chemistry and Materials Science


The objective of this research project is to develop and field test a portable device for real-time size and composition measurements of indoor and outdoor aerosols.


This project involves the integration of three technologies - aerodynamic particle sizing, laser ablation, and ion mobility spectrometry - into one instrument. A commercially available aerodynamic particle-sizing tool is being adapted as part of this instrument. Ion mobility tubes will be mounted on the particle sizing apparatus without impeding the particle sizing abilities. The aerosol is pulled into the instrument where the particles are sized by laser velocimetry and then ablated by a 193 nm excimer laser. The ions are then extracted out of the gas flow into dual polarity, ion mobility tubes. Ions are separated in the tubes according to their electrophoretic mobility. Ion intensity is recorded as a function of time and correlated with the aerodynamic size of the ablated particle.

Expected Results:

Compiling aerodynamic particle sizing, laser ablation, and ion mobility spectrometry into one instrument will offer a very rugged, portable, and powerful tool to analyze ambient aerosols.

Supplemental Keywords:

ambient air, indoor air, analytical, environmental chemistry, measurement methods, ion mobility spectrometry, aerodynamic particle sizing, laser ablation, aerosol., Scientific Discipline, Air, Environmental Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, indoor air, Chemistry and Materials Science, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, environmental monitoring, particulates, ion mobility spectrometry, aerodynamic sizer, aerosol particles, field portable systems, laser abiation, ambient air, air sampling, particulate matter chemistry, indoor air chemistry, aerodynamic particle sizing, aerosol particle characterization, aerosol

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2001
  • Final