Comparison of particle number counts measured with an ink jet aerosol generator and an aerodynamic particle sizer

Jana S. Kesavan, Jerold R. Bottiger, Deborah R. Schepers, Andrew R. Mcfarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Aerodynamic particle sizer (APS) users typically calibrate the particle sizing capabilities, but not the counting efficiency upon which aerosol concentration results are based. Herein, comparisons were made between the counts provided by an ink jet aerosol generator (IJAG) with those measured by an APS. Near-monodisperse (geometric standard deviation of about 1.06) liquid or solid aerosols in the size range of 0.95 to 13.3 μm aerodynamic diameter (AD) generated with an IJAG were released into the inner inlet-tube of the APS in a manner that rendered APS wall and aspiration losses negligible. For most experiments, the IJAG generated 75 particles/s, which rate was maintained by the IJAG system through control of electrical pulses applied to its ink jet cartridge. For particles in the size range of 2-13.3 μm AD, the ratio of relative detection efficiency (ratio of the number of particles counted by the APS to the number reported as generated by the IJAG) was 99.3 ± 1.4%; however, for test particles between 0.95 and 2 μm AD, the relative detection efficiency was somewhat lower, but the drop off was less than about 2%. This slight drop off is likely associated with the light scattering detection approach and corresponding counting algorithm of the APS. Tests were conducted where the IJAG produced 7.0 μm AD particles at rates of 1 to 500 s -1 and the results showed essentially a 1:1 correspondence between IJAG and APS counts. The presence of smaller-sized background particles did not affect the measured APS counts of larger-sized challenge particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pollution


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