24-727   Special Topics: Aerosol Measurement Technology

Location: Pittsburgh

Units: 12

Semester Offered: Intermittent

This course explores modern methods and instrumentation used to characterize key physical and chemical properties of aerosol particles, and the fundamental principles underlying the technology. Topics include particle sampling and collection (aerosol inlets, impactors, cyclones, virtual impactors, collection on substrates, electrostatic precipitation), aerosol charging and neutralization, particle size measurements (electrical mobility, optically, and aerodynamically based), particle detection (optical and electrical), aerosol optical properties, and the characterization of particle chemical composition (online mass spectrometry, in particular). Methods for analyzing both individual and ensembles of aerosol particles are discussed and compared. Recent advances reported in the literature are explored through student-led presentations. Students write a term paper describing and justifying their choice of techniques to solve a realistic aerosol measurement need. While the focus is on atmospheric aerosol particles, industrial applications such as particle synthesis and characterization are also discussed.