White-light detection for nanoparticle sizing with the TSI Ultrafine Condensation Particle Counter

William D. Dick, Peter H. McMurry, Rodney J. Weber, Frederick R. Quant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Several of the most common methods for measuring nanoparticle size distributions employ the ultrafine condensation particle counter (UCPC) for detection purposes. Among these methods, the pulse height analysis (PHA) technique, in which the optical response of the UCPC detector is related to initial particle diameter in the 3-10 nm range, prevails in applications where fast sampling is required or for which concentrations of nanoparticles are frequently very low. With the PHA technique, white light is required for particle illumination in order to obtain a monotonie relationship between initial particle diameter and optical response (pulse height). However, the popular, commercially available TSI Model 3025A UCPC employs a laser for particle detection. Here, we report on a novel white-light detection system developed for the 3025A UCPC that involves minimal alteration to the instrument and preserves normal counting operation. Performance is illustrated with pulse height spectra produced by differential mobility analyzer (DMA) - generated calibration aerosols in the 3-50 nm range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-90
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank David Lappen for his assistance with design of mechanical modifications to the TSI Model 3025A UCPC. This research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Contract No. 50000073.


  • Aerosol
  • Condensation particle counter
  • Light scattering
  • Nanoparticles
  • Particle size
  • Pulse height analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'White-light detection for nanoparticle sizing with the TSI Ultrafine Condensation Particle Counter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this