Effects of multi-charge on aerosol hygroscopicity measurement by a HTDMA

Shen, Chuanyang; Zhao, Gang; Zhao, Chunsheng

The humidified tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA) is widely used to measure the hygroscopic properties of submicron particles. The size-resolved aerosol hygroscopicity inline-formulaκ measured by a HTDMA will be influenced by the contribution of multiply charged aerosols, but this effect on field measurements has seldom been discussed for previous field measurements. Our calculations demonstrate that the number ratio of multiply charged particles is quite considerable for some specific sizes between 100 and 300 nm, especially during a pollution episode. The presence of multiple charges will lead to a compression effect on the aerosol hygroscopicity in HTDMA measurements. Therefore, we propose a new algorithm that performs multi-charge correction of the size-resolved hygroscopicity inline-formulaκ, taking both the compression effect and the multi-charge number contribution into consideration. Application of the algorithm to field measurements showed that the relatively high hygroscopicity in the accumulation size range leads to the overestimation of the hygroscopicity of particles smaller than 200 nm. The low hygroscopicity of coarse-mode particles leads to the underestimation of the hygroscopicity of accumulation particles between 200 and 500 nm in size. The difference between the corrected and measured inline-formulaκ values can be as large as 0.05, highlighting that special attention must be paid to the multi-charge effect when a HTDMA is used for aerosol hygroscopicity measurements.

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Shen, Chuanyang / Zhao, Gang / Zhao, Chunsheng: Effects of multi-charge on aerosol hygroscopicity measurement by a HTDMA. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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