Real-time characterization of ultrafine and accumulation mode particles in ambient combustion aerosols

N. Bukowiecki, D. B. Kittelson, W. F. Watts, H. Burtscher, E. Weingartner, U. Baltensperger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


The diffusion charging sensor (DC), photoelectric aerosol sensor (PAS) and condensation particle counter (CPC) are real-time particle instruments that have time resolutions <10s and are suitable for field use. This paper shows how the relative fraction of nuclei mode particles (D≤50nm) in ambient combustion aerosols can be determined, along with the coverage degree of the respective accumulation mode particles with a modal diameter of ∼100nm. Main tools for interpretation are the diameter of average surface DAve,S (obtained from CPC and DC measurements) and PAS/DC versus DAve,S scatter plots. Compared to the scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS), which is a standard instrument for aerosol particle size distribution measurements, the presented method has a limited accuracy, but is substantially faster. Additionally, it is experimentally less demanding than SMPS measurements, especially for field applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1154
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aerosol Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding support for the mentioned CRC E-43 project is sponsored by the following US Institutions: Coordinating Research Council (CRC), Department of Energy/National Renewable Energy Laboratory (DOE/NREL). Co-sponsors are the Engine Manufacturers Association, Southcoast Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board, Cummins Inc., Caterpillar Inc. and Volvo Inc.


  • Diesel exhaust
  • Diffusion charging
  • Nanoparticles
  • Photoemission
  • Urban aerosol


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