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A Wide-Range Particle Spectrometer for Aerosol Measurement from 0.010 µm to 10 µm

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Volume: 10 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 125-139
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2009.10.0062
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Benjamin Y.H. Liu1, Francisco J. Romay 1, William D. Dick1, Keung-Shan Woo1, Mihai Chiruta2

  • 1 MSP Corporation, 5910 Rice Creek Parkway, Suite 300, Shoreview, MN 55126, USA
  • 2 Cummins Inc., 1801 US Highway 51/138, Stoughton, WI 53589, USA


The Wide-range Particle Spectrometer (WPS™) is a recently introduced commercial instrument with the unique capability to measure size distributions of aerosols from 0.01 to 10 µm in diameter. The instrument includes a Scanning Mobility Spectrometer (SMS) comprised of a Differential Mobility Analyzer (DMA) and a Condensation Particle Counter (CPC) for particle measurement from 0.01 to 0.5 µm and a Laser Particle Spectrometer (LPS) for measurement in the ~0.4 to 10 µm range. These components are small enough to fit into a small portable cabinet (~26 kg) with all accompanying control hardware and electronics. No external pumps are required and power consumption is only about 150 W.

The DMA is calibrated with Standard Reference Materials (SRM) from the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), including SRM 1691 and SRM 1963a. These are uniform size polystyrene latex (PSL) spheres available from NIST with mean diameters of 0.269 µm and 0.1018 µm respectively. The CPC has a dual reservoir design to prevent the working fluid from being contaminated by water due to moisture condensation in the condenser. The LPS is calibrated with four NIST-traceable PSL sphere sizes. Calibration curves are generated not only for PSL (real refractive index of 1.585), but also for discrete values real refractive index ranging from 1.30 to 1.60. This procedure allows the user to select the most appropriate curve for determination of the light-scattering-equivalent sphere size that takes into account the effect due to refractive index of real aerosols. The LPS has a wide-angle collection optics design to produce a monotonic response curve for routine measurement in the field.


Aerosol spectrometer Differential mobility analyzer Condensation particle counter Laser particle spectrometer

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