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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/amt-2016-346
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
14 Dec 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
A DMA-train for precision measurement of sub 10-nm aerosol dynamics
Dominik Stolzenburg1, Gerhard Steiner1,2, and Paul M. Winkler1 1Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
2Institute for Ion and Applied Physics, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Abstract. Measurements of aerosol dynamics in the sub-10 nm size range are crucially important for quantifying the impact of new particle formation onto the global budget of cloud condensation nuclei. Here we present the development and characterization of a differential mobility analyzer – train (DMA-train), operating six DMAs in parallel for high time-resolution particle size-distribution measurements below 10 nm. The DMAs are operated at six different but fixed voltages and hence sizes, together with six state-of-the-art condensation particle counters. Two Airmodus A 10 particle size magnifiers (PSM) are used for channels below 2.5 nm while sizes above 2.5 nm are detected by TSI 3776 butanol or TSI 3788 water based CPCs. We report the transfer functions and characteristics of six identical Grimm S-DMAs as well as the calibration of a butanol-based TSI model 3776 CPC, a water-based TSI model 3788 CPC and an Aimodus A10 PSM. We find cut-off diameters similar to those reported in the literature. The performance of the DMA-train is tested with a rapidly changing aerosol of a tungsten oxide particle generator during warm-up. Additionally we report a measurement of new particle formation taken during a nucleation event in the CLOUD chamber experiment at CERN. We find that the DMA-train is able to bridge the gap between currently well-established measurement techniques in the cluster-particle transition regime, providing high time-resolution and accurate size information of neutral and charged particles even at atmospheric particle concentrations.

Citation: Stolzenburg, D., Steiner, G., and Winkler, P. M.: A DMA-train for precision measurement of sub 10-nm aerosol dynamics, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., doi:10.5194/amt-2016-346, in review, 2016.
Dominik Stolzenburg et al.
Dominik Stolzenburg et al.
Dominik Stolzenburg et al.

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Short summary
Aerosol particles produced by gas-to-particle conversion in the atmosphere might influence the climate due to their effects on cloud formation. Characterizing the early growth of freshly formed aerosol particles is extremely challenging. We present the development and characterization of an instrument that can measure the evolution of particles smaller than 10 nm. It can therefore help to quantify the impact of the early aerosol formation process on cloud formation and climate.
Aerosol particles produced by gas-to-particle conversion in the atmosphere might influence the...
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