14 Jan 2022

14 Jan 2022

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Characterization of tandem aerosol classifiers for selecting particles: implication for eliminating multiple charging effect

Yao Song1, Xiangyu Pei1, Huichao Liu1, Jiajia Zhou1, and Zhibin Wang1,2,3,4 Yao Song et al.
  • 1College of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, China
  • 2Hangzhou Global Scientific and Technological Innovation Center, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 311200, China
  • 3Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Organic Pollution Process and Control, Hangzhou 310058, China
  • 4Key Laboratory of Environment Remediation and Ecological Health, Ministry of Education, Zhejiang University, 310058 Hangzhou, China

Abstract. Accurate particle classification plays a vital role in aerosol studies. Differential mobility analyzer (DMA), centrifugal particle mass analyzer (CPMA) and aerodynamic aerosol classifier (AAC) are commonly used to select particles with a specific size or mass. However, multiple charging effect cannot be entirely avoided either using individual technique or using tandem system such as DMA-CPMA, especially when selecting soot particles with fractal structures. In this study, we demonstrate the transfer functions of DMA-CPMA and DMA-AAC systems, as well as the potential multiple charging effect. Our results show that the ability to remove multiply charged particles mainly depends on particles morphology and instruments setups of DMA-CPMA system. Using measurements from soot experiments and literature data, a general trend in the appearance of multiple charging effect with decreasing size when selecting aspherical particles was observed. Otherwise, our results indicated that the ability of DMA-AAC to resolve particles with multiple charges is mainly related to the resolutions of classifiers. In most cases, DMA-AAC can eliminate multiple charging effect regardless of the particle morphology, while particles with multiple charges can be selected when decreasing resolutions of DMA and AAC. We propose that the multiple charging effect should be reconsidered when using DMA-CPMA or DMA-AAC system in estimating size and mass resolved optical properties in the field and lab experiments.

Yao Song et al.

Status: open (until 19 Feb 2022)

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Yao Song et al.


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Short summary
Accurate particle classification is very important in aerosol studies. Differential mobility analyzer (DMA), centrifugal particle mass analyzer (CPMA), aerodynamic aerosol classifier (AAC) and their tandem systems are commonly used. We demonstrated that DMA-CPMA is more susceptible to multiple charging effect than DMA-AAC. It is not suggested to reduce the resolutions of the instruments, especially when selecting small size soot particles.