High speed particle beam generation: A dynamic focusing mechanism for selecting ultrafine particles

R. V. Mallina, A. S. Wexler, K. P. Rhoads, M. V. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


RSMS-II is a unique characterization technique for analyzing the chemical content of individual airborne ultrafine particles in real time. Although based on earlier versions, the newest implementation offers crucial enhancements including a smart data acquisition system and a completely redesigned particle inlet. The particle inlet is based on a dynamic focusing mechanism that selectively transmits a narrow particle size range in the form of a high speed particle beam. The mean particle size that is optimally transmitted is dynamically altered by changing the nozzle source pressure, thus particles over a wide size range may be selected. Inherent in the design of dynamic focusing mechanisms is the ability to size-select particles based on their aerodynamic characteristics, thus obviating the need for additional sizing components. The principle, design, and calibration of a variable pressure inlet is presented in the current work. Characteristics are estimated employing a theoretical approach based on the Stokes number definition and supported with numerical simulations using CFD tools. Results from a preliminary effort in calibrating the inlet using monodisperse aerosol are presented. Results indicate that the size resolving capability of the inlet may be enhanced at the expense of lowered transmission rates. Finally, the capability of RSMS-II as a characterization technique is demonstrated by analyzing ultrafine atmospheric particles from a moderately polluted episode.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-104
Number of pages18
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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