Measuring Nanoparticle Size Distributions in Real-Time: Key Factors for Accuracy

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The benefits of sizing aerosolized submicrometer particles using an electrical mobility sizing technique have been well documented. This type of analytical tool has been found to be able to measure particle diameter with an uncertainty of only 0.1%. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been using electrical mobility to measure its 0.1µm Standard Reference Material (SRM) Particles for well over a decade due to its superior accuracy and speed over surface measurement techniques. In this study an Electrospray Aerosol Generator has been used to generate polydisperse and monodisperse particles in the nanometer size range. A Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer™ (SMPS) Spectrometer with a Nano Differential Mobility Analyzer (NDMA) and Condensation Particle Counter (CPC) has been used to size the particles. The significance of controlling measurement parameters (flow accuracy, voltage accuracy, aerosol charge distributions, carrier gas properties, diffusion losses, etc.) will be detailed. Factors important in the process of aerosolizing nanoparticles using a spray technique will be discussed. Differences between the measurement accuracy of polydisperse and monodisperse aerosols will be examined. Measurement scans will be shown, and techniques for accurate sizing will be identified for both types of aerosol.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 4, Technical Proceedings of the 2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 4
Published: May 20, 2007
Pages: 179 - 182
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topic: Nanoparticle Synthesis & Applications
ISBN: 1-4200-6376-6