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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-469
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
05 Feb 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Exploring the Applicability and Limitations of Selected Optical Scattering Instruments for PM Mass Measurement
Jie Zhang, Joseph P. Marto, and James J. Schwab Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, University at Albany, State University of New York, NY, USA
Abstract. Two optical scattering instruments for particle mass measurement – the Thermo Personal Data RAM (PDR-1500), the TSI Environmental DustTrak DRX (Model 8543) were evaluated by 1) using poly- and mono-disperse test aerosol in the laboratory, and 2) sampling ambient aerosol. The responses of these optical scattering instruments to different particle characteristics (size, composition, concentration) were compared with responses from reference instruments. A Mie scattering calculation was used to explain the dependence of the optical instruments’ response to aerosol size and composition. Concurrently, the detection efficiency of one Alphasense Optical Particle Counter (OPC-N2) was evaluated in the laboratory as well. For ambient aerosol, a moderate coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.64) with positive slope was found between aerosol mass median diameter and the ratio of PDR reported mass to that measured by an Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS). Aerosol size was verified to be the primary factor affecting optical response in this study, but aerosol chemical composition and refractive index were also evaluated for their influence. These observations and calculations help evaluate the applicability and limitations of these optical scattering instruments, and provide guidance to designing suitable applications for each instrument by considering aerosol sources and aerosol size.

Citation: Zhang, J., Marto, J. P., and Schwab, J. J.: Exploring the Applicability and Limitations of Selected Optical Scattering Instruments for PM Mass Measurement, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-469, in review, 2018.
Jie Zhang et al.
Jie Zhang et al.

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Short summary
The performance of two kinds of optical instruments for aerosol mass measurements was explained by a Mie scattering theory. At the same time, the responds of optical instruments for ambient aerosol with different size, chemical composition, and refractive index were also studied. These would help evaluate the applicability and limitations of these optical scattering instruments.
The performance of two kinds of optical instruments for aerosol mass measurements was explained...
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