Opinion: Should high-resolution differential mobility analyzers be used in mainstream aerosol studies?

Fernandez de la Mora, Juan

Differential mobility analyzers (DMAs) are widely used instruments to measure the size distributions of submicron aerosols. High-resolution DMAs (HRDMAs) are defined here as plain DMAs maintaining a steady flow over an unusually broad range of sheath gas flow rates inline-formulaQ. HRDMAs, first developed by Georg Reischl's group, have existed for a long time. However, they have not been widely adopted, except in the size range below 10 nm, often in new particle formation studies. Here we question the commonly held view that HRDMAs are necessarily complex, bulky and expensive machines, mainly of interest in exotic applications outside mainstream aerosol research. Rather, many studies central to aerosol research could be carried out with HRDMAs with considerable advantage in size range, resolution, sensitivity and measurement speed. DMA manufacturers will hopefully take the challenge of developing commercial HRDMAs of complexity and cost comparable to those of today's commercial instruments, adapted for broad use by aerosol scientists, though with greatly improved flexibility and performance. Some of the technical challenges that still need to be overcome are discussed, such as the development of high-flow condensation counter detectors, and the control of high sample and sheath gas flow rates.

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Fernandez de la Mora, Juan: Opinion: Should high-resolution differential mobility analyzers be used in mainstream aerosol studies?. 2024. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Juan Fernandez de la Mora

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