The mobility-volume relationship below 3.0 nm examined by tandem mobility-mass measurement

Carlos Larriba, Christopher J. Hogan, Michel Attoui, Rafael Borrajo, Juan Fernandez Garcia, Juan Fernandez De La Mora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


The validity of the Stokes-Millikan equation is examined in light of mass and mobility measurements of clusters of the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methyl- imidazolium tetrafluoroborate (EMI-BF4) in ambient air. The mobility diameter dZ based on the measured mobility and the Stokes-Millikan law is compared with the volume diameter dv, which generalizes the mass diameter for binary substances such as salts. dv is based on the sum of anion and cation volumes in the cluster corrected for the void fraction of the bulk ionic liquid. For dv 1.5 nm, dZ is within 1.4% of dv + 0.3 nm. For smaller clusters 3.84 and 14.3% deviations are observed at dv = 1.21 nm and 0.68 nm, respectively. These differences are smaller than expected due to a cancellation of competing effects. The increasing difference seen for dv 1.5 nm is due primarily to the interaction between the cluster and the dipole it induces in the gas molecules. Other potential sources of disagreement are non-globular cluster geometries, and departures of the cluster void fraction from the bulk value. These two effects are examined via molecular dynamics simulations, which confirm that the volume diameter concept is accurate for EMI-BF4 nanodrops with dv as small as 1.6 nm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-467
Number of pages15
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


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