Skip to main content

Open Access Development of a Multiple-Stage Differential Mobility Analyzer (MDMA)

Download Article:


A new DMA column has been designed with the capability of simultaneously extracting monodisperse particles of different sizes in multiple stages. We call this design a multistage DMA, or MDMA. A prototype MDMA has been constructed and experimentally evaluated in this study. The new column enables the fast measurement of particles in a wide size range, while preserving the powerful particle classification function of a DMA. The prototype MDMA has three sampling stages, capable of classifying monodisperse particles of three different sizes simultaneously. The scanning voltage operation of a DMA can be applied to this new column. Each stage of MDMA column covers a fraction of the entire particle size range to be measured. The covered size fractions of two adjacent stages of the MDMA are designed somewhat overlapped. The arrangement leads to the reduction of scanning voltage range and thus the cycling time of the measurement. The modular sampling stage design of the MDMA allows the flexible configuration of desired particle classification lengths and variable number of stages in the MDMA. The design of our MDMA also permits operation at high sheath flow, enabling high-resolution particle size measurement and/or reduction of the lower sizing limit. Using the tandem DMA technique, the performance of the MDMA, i.e., sizing accuracy, resolution, and transmission efficiency, was evaluated at different ratios of aerosol and sheath flowrates. Two aerosol sampling schemes were investigated. One was to extract aerosol flows at an evenly partitioned flowrate at each stage, and the other was to extract aerosol at a rate the same as the polydisperse aerosol flowrate at each stage. We detail the prototype design of the MDMA and the evaluation result on the transfer functions of the MDMA at different particle sizes and operational conditions.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Environmental Engineering Science Program, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, USA 2: Environmental Science Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA

Publication date: 2007-02-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more