Sizing characterization of the Fast-Mobility Particle Sizer (FMPS) Against SMPS and HR-ToF-AMS

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

23 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations

Author(s)

  • Berto P. Lee
  • Yong Jie Li
  • Richard C. Flagan
  • Charles Lo
  • Chak K. Chan

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1030-1037
Journal / PublicationAerosol Science and Technology
Volume47
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Particle size distributions are of profound interest in the study of ambient aerosols. Electrostatic classification using the Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) and more recently the Fast- Mobility Particle Sizer (FMPS) is the most commonly employed approach to establish particle size distributions for submicron particles in field and laboratory applications. The FMPS enables fast size distribution measurements on a timescale of seconds but has been speculated to underestimate particle size. Aerosol mass spectrometry has emerged as another well-accepted method for sizeresolved compositional aerosol analysis with particle sizing being accomplished by flight time separation over a specified flight path under vacuum conditions. In this work, we characterized the particle sizing performance of an FMPS against simultaneous measurements with an Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS) and an SMPS by sampling ambient particles, as well as polydisperse and monodisperse particles from aqueous inorganic salt solutions in the size range from 50 nm to 450 nm. The particle size measurements by AMS and SMPS produced similar results, while the FMPS significantly underestimated particle size by 40-50%. The discrepancy was observed in all studied ambient and laboratorygenerated aerosols and appeared to be largely independent of the sampled species. The observations suggest that it is crucial to evaluate the sizing performance of the FMPS against other instruments to ensure an adequate accuracy of the particle size measurements. In this study, a simple postcorrection method for the FMPS measurements was applied, which was able to successfully reduce the initial underestimation. Copyright © American Association for Aerosol Research.