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A Study on Electrical Charge Distribution of Aerosol Using Gerdien Ion Counter

Category: Aerosol Physics and Instrumentation

Article In Press
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.08.0309

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Yun-Haeng Joe1, Joonmok Shim1, Il-Kyoung Shin1,2, Se-Jin Yook2, Hyun-Seol Park 1

  • 1 Climate Change Research Division, Korea Institute of Energy Research, Daejeon 34129, Korea
  • 2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hanyang University, Gyeonggi-do 15588, Korea


Simple experimental method for measuring particle charge state was proposed.
A Gerdien-type ion counter was used to classify charged and uncharged particles.
Ratio of un-charge, positively and negatively charge was calculated.
Test results were verified by comparison with theoretical calculation.
Particle charge state could be obtained in a short-time by the proposed method.


The motion of charged particles strongly depends on its charge characteristics; as a result, information on charge distributions of target particles is an important variable in aerosol research. In this study, the charge distribution of atomized NaCl particles was measured using a Gerdien-type ion counter. Two particle charging conditions were used in this study. First, atomized NaCl particles were passed through an aerosol, resulting in a Boltzmann charge distribution. The charge distribution was experimentally determined, and the percentage of uncharged particles was compared to the percentage obtained from the theoretical Boltzmann charge distribution equation to verify the experimental method. The same experiment was conducted without the aerosol neutralizer to measure the charge distribution of the atomized and un-neutralized NaCl particles. The percentage of uncharged, negatively charged, and positively charged particles was 19%, 62%, and 20%, respectively, for the neutralized particles. For the atomized particles, which were generated without the aerosol neutralizer, a nearly zero charge state was observed, but the standard deviation in the charge distribution was larger than that of the neutralized particles. The experimental method proposed in this study is expected to be applicable to various aerosol research fields because it can be used to obtain simple information regarding the particle charge characteristics more easily and quickly than conventional methods.


Aerosol particle Charge distribution Current measurement Gerdien ion counter

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