Design, Modeling, Optimization, and Experimental Tests of a Particle Beam Width...

Huffman, J. A., J. T. Jayne, F. Drewnick, A. C. Aiken, T. Onasch, D. Worsnop, and J. Jimenez-Palacios (2005), Design, Modeling, Optimization, and Experimental Tests of a Particle Beam Width Probe for the Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer, Aerosol Science and Technology, 39, 1143-1163, doi:10.1080/02786820500423782.

Aerodynamic lens inlets have revolutionized aerosol mass spectrometry by allowing the introduction of a very narrow particle beam into a vacuum chamber for subsequent analysis. The realtime measurement of particle beam width after an aerodynamic lens is of interest for two reasons: (1) it allows a correction to be made to the measured particle concentration if the beam is so broad, due to poor focusing by non-spherical particles, that some particles miss the detection system; and (2) under constant lens pressure it can provide a surrogate particle non-sphericity measurement. For these reasons, a beam width probe (BWP) has been designed and implemented for the Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS), although this approach is also applicable to other instruments that use aerodynamic lens inlets. The probe implemented here consists of a thin vertical wire that can be precisely positioned to partially block the particle beam at fixed horizontal locations in order to map out the width of the particle beam. A computer model was developed to optimize the BWP and interpret its experimental data. Model assumptions were found to be reasonably accurate for all laboratory-generated particle types to which the model was compared. Comparisons of particle beam width data from a number of publications are also shown here. Particle losses due to beam broadening are found to be minor for the AMS for both laboratory and ambient particles. The model was then used to optimize the choice of the BWP dimensions, and to guide its use during continuous operation. A wire diameter approximately 1.55 times larger than the beam width to be measured provides near optimal sensitivity toward both collection efficiency and surrogate non-sphericity information. Wire diameters of 0.62 mm and 0.44 mm (for the AMS “long” and “short” chambers, respectively) provide reasonable sensitivity over the expected range of particle beam widths, for both spherical and non-spherical particles. Three other alternative BWP geometries were also modeled and discussed.

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Tropospheric Composition Program (TCP)