Experimental study of a new corona-based unipolar aerosol charger

Chaolong Qi, Da Ren Chen, David Y.H. Pui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


A corona-based unipolar aerosol charger has been constructed, and its performance has been systematically evaluated. The prototype consists of completely separated corona ionization and charging chambers. With this configuration the electrostatic loss of charged particles is eliminated, and particle loss by diffusion and the space charge effect is minimized by the angular injection of the ionizer flow and the rapid exit of charged particles. The charger performance was optimized by varying different operational parameters, i.e., total and ionizer flowrates, and ion concentration. It was found that operation with one corona ionizer gave higher extrinsic charging efficiency than operation with two ionizers. The corona-discharge current has negligible effect on the charging performance. Operating the charger at a total flowrate of 5 lpm, with 1.0 lpm flow in each of the two ionizers, gave the highest extrinsic charging efficiency. Further, the performance of prototype charger was not compromised even at a total flowrate of 10 lpm. The charger provides higher extrinsic charging efficiency than other corona-based unipolar chargers. Extrinsic charge distributions for particles of different sizes were at last measured by the tandem-DMA technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-792
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Aerosol Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Corona discharge
  • Nanoparticle
  • Sonic jet
  • Unipolar charging


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