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Particle Size Distribution

Particle size distribution data provides insights in dynamics and distribution of aerosols.

Particle size distribution (PSD) data is the next level of insight beyond the particle number concentration; it provides deeper insights into the dynamics and implications of aerosols. Gaining insight into particle size is beneficial because deposition in the respiratory tract, aerosol transport and source apportionment are all size-dependent. When the focus is on ultrafine particles, size distribution data is especially valuable.

TSI’s family of Scanning Mobility Particle Sizers (SMPS™) has a long and global history of use for numerous aerosol sizing applications, including measuring ambient ultrafine particles (UFPs). The inter-governmental air monitoring network ACTRIS (Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure), in Europe, includes monitoring sites that utilize TSI SMPSs. Beyond ACTRIS, researchers around the globe have used TSI SMPS systems to measure size distributions in a wide variety of settings.

Sizing aerosols

The newest member of the SMPS family - Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) 3938W50-CEN - enables ambient air monitoring of UFPs from 10 nm to 800 nm in a single scan, following the harmonized measurement of particle size distribution in the atmosphere according to the Technical Specification CEN/TS 17434:2020 of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). It is a valuable tool for around-the-clock monitoring of ultrafine particle size distributions.

Nucleation and particle formation

The specialized version 1nm Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS™) uses similar technology but is used to study nucleation and new particle formation events in the range from 1 nm to 50 nm.

The Fast Mobility Particle Sizer (FMPS) model 3091 is sometimes used near waterways together with an Aerodynamic Particle Sizer (APS) or Optical Particle Sizer (OPS) to measure particles in the emissions plumes created by ship traffic, and to  determine the fuel quality used by the passing ships.

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