Operation of the Airmodus A11 nano Condensation Nucleus Counter at various inlet pressures and various operation temperatures, and design of a new inlet system
Abstract. Measuring sub-3 nm particles outside of controlled laboratory conditions is a challenging task, as many of the instruments are operated at their limits and are subject to changing ambient conditions. In this study, we advance the current understanding of the operation of the Airmodus A11 nano Condensation Nucleus Counter (nCNC), which consists of an A10 Particle Size Magnifier (PSM) and an A20 Condensation Particle Counter (CPC). The effect of the inlet line pressure on the measured particle concentration was measured, and two separate regions inside the A10, where supersaturation of working fluid can take place, were identified. The possibility of varying the lower cut-off diameter of the nCNC was investigated; by scanning the growth tube temperature, the range of the lower cut-off was extended from 1–2.5 to 1–6 nm. Here we present a new inlet system, which allows automated measurement of the background concentration of homogeneously nucleated droplets, minimizes the diffusion losses in the sampling line and is equipped with an electrostatic filter to remove ions smaller than approximately 4.5 nm. Finally, our view of the guidelines for the optimal use of the Airmodus nCNC is provided.