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Comparison Between an Unipolar Corona Charger and a Polonium-Based Bipolar Neutralizer for the Analysis of Nanosized Particles and Biopolymers

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In this work we present results on the charging efficiency of nanoparticles by means of a corona based unipolar charging unit. This device was designed to replace a Po210 bipolar charger unit in a commercial electrospray aerosol generator (TSI Mod 3480). The charging efficiency has been investigated for negative and positive charged particles of various chemical composition in the size range between 5 and 18 nm. The corona current has been found to be the most influential operation parameter on the charging efficiency. With a positive electrospray droplet charge and a negatively-biased corona needle, a rapidly decreasing yield of singly positively charged aerosol particles with increasing corona current was found. An increasing yield of negatively charged particles was observed with increasing current of the corona process. Providing appropriate corona settings nanoparticles with charge levels similar to these obtained with a Po210 charger were found. At optimal corona settings the yield of singly charged particles was found to be two to four times higher for negative and positive particles compared to bipolar charging. This gain in the charging efficiency increases directly the sensitivity of analysis and enhances all measurement and manipulation processes of airborne nanoparticles for which electrical charging is required.
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Keywords: AEROSOLS; BIOPOLYMERS; CHARGED PARTICLES; CORONA CHARGER; DMA; ELECTROSPRAY IONIZATION; GEMMA; NANOPARTICLES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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