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A Cost-effective, Miniature Electrical Ultrafine Particle Sizer (mini-eUPS) for Ultrafine Particle (UFP) Monitoring Network

Category: Aerosol Physics and Instrumentation

Volume: 20 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 231-241
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.11.0427
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To cite this article:
Liu, Q., Liu, D., Chen, X., Zhang, Q., Jiang, J. and Chen, D.R. (2020). A Cost-effective, Miniature Electrical Ultrafine Particle Sizer (mini-eUPS) for Ultrafine Particle (UFP) Monitoring Network. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 231-241. doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.11.0427.

Qiaoling Liu1, Di Liu1, Xiaotong Chen1,2, Qiang Zhang2, Jingkun Jiang2, Da-Ren Chen 1,2

  • 1 Particle Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284, USA
  • 2 Division of Air Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China


  • A miniature electrical ultrasfine pa nodes in th rticle sizer (mini-eUPS) were introduced.
  • mini- eUPSs could be applied as thee UFP monitoring network.
  • The detail on the integration and performance of mini-eUPS are reported.
  • Examples are given to compare the mini-eUPS data with SMPS ones.


A cost-effective, miniature electrical ultrafine particle sizer (mini-eUPS) has been developed for future UFP (ultrafine particle) monitoring networks in cities with high traffic density and in communities close to freeways, airports or stationary combustion sources. The mini-eUPS mainly consists of a mini-plate unipolar particle charger, a mini-plate differential mobility classifier and a mini-particle Faraday cage with a sensitive electrometer. A custom-made circuit board was designed for operating the mini-eUPS. In addition to the primary function of measuring the UFP size distribution, the mini-eUPS records the temperature, relative humidity, pressure, altitude, timing and location for each measured data set. The operational status of the mini-eUPS is also registered for data quality assurance. Due to the built-in features of self-diagnosis, malfunction reporting and wireless networking, this particle sizer is suitable for UFP monitoring network. The prototype, which possesses overall dimensions of 6.5′′ (L) × 5.0′′ (W) × 4′′ (H) and a total weight of ~1.0 kg, measures particles ranging in size from 5 to 200 nm. To evaluate the performance of the mini-eUPS, size distribution measurements of lab-generated particles in both unimodal and bimodal distributions and of UFPs emitted from a low-cost 3D printer and diesel engine were compared with those taken by a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS; TSI Inc.). A reasonably good agreement between the mini-eUPS and SMPS data was found.


Miniature particle sizer Ultrafine particles Cost-effective sensor

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