The diffusion battery, an assembly of circular tubes or rectangular channels, is one of the best devices available for measuring the size and size distribution of submicron aerosols in the diameter range 0.002 to 0.2 µ m. The performance of these batteries is known from molecular diffusion theory, but until now has not been checked experimentally in this size range because of the lack of the necessary monodisperse aerosols. Experimental measurements on singly charged monodisperse aerosols from 0.01 µm to 0.1 µ m are described using a General Electric and a Pollak condensation nucleus counter to measure the aerosol penetration through the stages of a set of portable diffusion batteries in series. Particle sizes in the range tested could be selected at will by adjusting the voltage of an electric mobility classifier. The fraction of aerosol of a given size passing through each battery stage was found to agree closely with the penetration calculated from molecular diffusion theory for that size. This shows that the theory is correct and confirms that the aerosol produced by the electric mobility classifier was monodisperse. In addition, it was found that the difference in penetration between a charged versus a neutralized aerosol was insignificant except for the smallest aerosols used.
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