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Nano-hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (nano-HTDMA) for investigating hygroscopic properties of sub-10nm aerosol nanoparticles

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Lei,  Ting
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Ma,  Nan
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Wang,  Xin
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Pöhlker,  Mira L.
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Pöschl,  Ulrich
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Su,  Hang
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Cheng,  Yafang
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Lei, T., Ma, N., Hong, J., Tuch, T., Wang, X., Wang, Z., et al. (2020). Nano-hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (nano-HTDMA) for investigating hygroscopic properties of sub-10nm aerosol nanoparticles. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 13(10), 5551-5567. doi:10.5194/amt-13-5551-2020.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-711F-8
Abstract
Interactions between water and nanoparticles are relevant for atmospheric multiphase processes, physical chemistry, and materials science. Current knowledge of the hygroscopic and related physicochemical properties of nanoparticles, however, is restricted by the limitations of the available measurement techniques. Here, we present the design and performance of a nano-hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (nano-HTDMA) apparatus that enables high accuracy and precision in hygroscopic growth measurements of aerosol nanoparticles with diameters less than 10 nm. Detailed methods of calibration and validation are provided. Besides maintaining accurate and stable sheath and aerosol flow rates (±1 %), high accuracy of the differential mobility analyzer (DMA) voltage (±0.1 %) in the range of ∼0–50 V is crucial for achieving accurate sizing and small sizing offsets between the two DMAs (<1.4 %). To maintain a stable relative humidity (RH), the humidification system and the second DMA are placed in a well-insulated and air conditioner housing (±0.1 K). We also tested and discussed different ways of preventing predeliquescence in the second DMA. Our measurement results for ammonium sulfate nanoparticles are in good agreement with Biskos et al. (2006b), with no significant size effect on the deliquescence and efflorescence relative humidity (DRH and ERH, respectively) at diameters down to 6 nm. For sodium sulfate nanoparticles, however, we find a pronounced size dependence of DRH and ERH between 20 and 6 nm nanoparticles.