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Classification of Sub-10 nm Aerosol: Theory, Instrument Development, and Experiment


Downard, Andrew Joseph (2012) Classification of Sub-10 nm Aerosol: Theory, Instrument Development, and Experiment. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/KP0F-8T32.


The large diffusion coefficients of sub-10 nm aerosol have posed a long-standing challenge to the aerosol community; to understand nucleation and early growth, there is a need for methods such as those presented here that transmit a strong, high resolution signal of classified charged aerosol to the detector. I introduce a framework for comparison of the Flagan Laboratory classifiers to other instruments, and I show why our instruments perform favorably relative to these alternatives. Reducing the size of the classification region reduces the effect of diffusion on performance and will ultimately enable the development of personal health monitors. The deployment of our instruments to the Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets experiment at CERN motivated a deeper look into detector performance and design for extreme operating conditions. I caution about the possible interference of ion nucleation with measurements and introduce a process for optimizing detector performance at arbitrary temperature. My experience with aerosol classifications has inspired the invention of separation methods for related fields; I conclude by describing methods for the high resolution separation of gas ions and of aqueous particles such as proteins and antibodies.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:aerosol; differential electrical mobility classification; opposed migration aerosol classifier; nucleation; electrophoresis
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemical Engineering
Awards:Demetriades-Tsafka-Kokkalis Prize in Entrepreunership or Related Fields, 2012
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Flagan, Richard C.
Thesis Committee:
  • Flagan, Richard C. (chair)
  • Beauchamp, Jesse L.
  • Seinfeld, John H.
  • Wennberg, Paul O.
Defense Date:8 May 2012
Non-Caltech Author Email:andydownard (AT)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Jacobs Institute for Molecular Engineering for Medicine at CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Davidow Endowment at CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05302012-163207555
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7101
Deposited By: Andrew Downard
Deposited On:19 May 2015 18:04
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 23:56

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