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Journal Article

Application of an O-ring pinch device as a constant-pressure inlet (CPI) for airborne sampling

MPS-Authors
/persons/resource/persons140247

Molleker,  Sergej
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons206885

Helleis,  Frank
Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons101066

Klimach,  Thomas
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons222968

Appel,  Oliver
Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons230428

Clemen,  Hans-Christian
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons241660

Dragoneas,  Antonis
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons100974

Gurk,  Christian
Atmospheric Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons145444

Hünig,  Andreas
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons203213

Köllner,  Franziska
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons192183

Rubach,  Florian
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons204098

Schulz,  Christiane
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons101255

Schneider,  Johannes
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons100858

Borrmann,  Stephan
Particle Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Molleker, S., Helleis, F., Klimach, T., Appel, O., Clemen, H.-C., Dragoneas, A., et al. (2020). Application of an O-ring pinch device as a constant-pressure inlet (CPI) for airborne sampling. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 13(7), 3651-3660. doi:10.5194/amt-13-3651-2020.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-4EF5-E
Abstract
We present a novel and compact design of a constant-pressure inlet (CPI) developed for use in airborne aerosol mass spectrometry. In particular, the inlet system is optimized for aerodynamic lenses commonly used in aerosol mass spectrometers, in which efficient focusing of aerosol particles into a vacuum chamber requires a precisely controlled lens pressure, typically of a few hectopascals. The CPI device can also be used in condensation particle counters (CPCs), cloud condensation nucleus counters (CCNCs), and gas-phase sampling instruments across a wide range of altitudes and inlet pressures. The constant pressure is achieved by changing the inner diameter of a properly scaled O-ring that acts as a critical orifice. The CPI control keeps air pressure and thereby mass flow rate (≈0.1 L min−1) upstream of an aerodynamic lens constant, deviating at most by only ±2 % from a preset value. In our setup, a pressure sensor downstream of the O-ring maintains control of the pinch mechanism via a feedback loop and setpoint conditions are reached within seconds. The device was implemented in a few instruments, which were successfully operated on different research aircraft covering a wide range of ambient pressures, from sea level up to about 55 hPa. Details of operation and the quality of aerosol particle transmission were evaluated by laboratory experiments and in-flight data with a single-particle mass spectrometer.