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Open Access Laboratory and Ambient Particle Density Determinations using Light Scattering in Conjunction with Aerosol Mass Spectrometry

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A light scattering module has been integrated into the current AMS instrument. This module provides the simultaneous measurement of vacuum aerodynamic diameter (dva) and scattered light intensity (RLS) for all particles sampled by the AMS above ∼180 nm geometric diameter. Particle counting statistics and correlated chemical ion signal intensities are obtained for every particle that scatters light. A single calibration curve converts RLS to an optical diameter (do). Using the relationship between dva and do the LS-AMS provides a real-time, per particle measurement of the density of the sampled aerosol particles. The current article is focused on LS-AMS measurements of spherical, non-absorbing aerosol particles. The laboratory characterization of LS-AMS shows that a single calibration curve yields the material density of spherical particles with real refractive indices (n) over a range from 1.41 < n < 1.60 with an accuracy of about ±10%. The density resolution of the current LS-AMS system is also shown to be 10% indicating that externally mixed inorganic/organic aerosol distributions can be resolved. In addition to the single particle measurements of dva and RLS, correlated chemical ion signal intensities are obtained with the quadrupole mass spectrometer. A comparison of the particle mass derived from the physical (RLS and dva) and chemical measurements provides a consistency check on the performance of the LS-AMS. The ability of the LS-AMS instrument to measure the density of ambient aerosol particles is demonstrated with sample results obtained during the Northeast Air Quality Study (NEAQS) in the summer of 2004.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Chemistry Department, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA 2: School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Science, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom 3: Center for Aerosol and Cloud Chemistry, Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts, USA 4: Chemistry Department, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA,Center for Aerosol and Cloud Chemistry, Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts, USA

Publication date: 2007-04-01

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