Performance of a single ultrafine particle mass spectrometer

Denis J. Phares, Kevin P. Rhoads, Anthony S. Wexler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


We report on the performance of a rapid single particle mass spectrometer (RSMS-II), designed to obtain the size and composition of individual ultrafine particles. Particles are sized aerodynamically at the inlet using a dynamic focusing mechanism to transmit particles to the source region of a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Since the target particles are too small to be detected optically, an excimer laser is pulsed at high frequency so that data are acquired only when a particle coincides with a laser pulse within the source region. The instrument is tested with sodium chloride and oleic acid particle standards of various sizes and the hit rate efficiency is monitored as the normalized number of particle hits per unit time. The hit rate efficiency depends on the particle flux through the active region of the laser beam, in addition to the particle size and composition, and may thus be used to determine the relative transmission efficiency and size selectivity of the inlet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-592
Number of pages10
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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