Charles D. Litton, Aranya Venkatesh This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Jill Andersen, Dömötör Gulyás, Sara Longo, Chris Bartley, Illah Nourbakhsh 

Airviz Inc., Pittsburgh PA 15213, USA

Received: May 8, 2020
Revised: January 14, 2021
Accepted: January 15, 2021

 Copyright The Author's institutions. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited. 

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Litton, C.D., Venkatesh, A., Andersen, J., Gulyás, D., Longo, S., Bartley, C., Nourbakhsh, I. (2021). Simulating Performance of a Dual Angle Particle Monitor for Atmospheric Particulate Matter. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 21, 200208.


  • Particle toxicity increases with decreasing diameter and increasing surface area.
  • Most inexpensive particle monitors lose sensitivity for particles < 0.3–35 µm.
  • This study simulates a particle monitor that measures both PM3 and PM2.5.
  • Experimental data from prototypes developed agree with simulation results.


Recent literature suggests that particle toxicity increases with decreasing particle diameter and increasing total particle surface area. Most inexpensive particle monitors are based upon light scattering and tend to lose sensitivity for particles with diameters less than about 0.3–0.35 µm. This raises the question of whether the measurement of PM2.5 “misses” the potential impact of very small particles (e.g., below 0.3 µm) due to lack of sensitivity and/or the low mass concentrations that these particles contribute to the total PM2.5. On the other hand, measuring only ultrafine particles (e.g., below 0.1 µm) would exclude significant numbers of still very small particles. The focus of simulating a novel particle monitor in this study, is to address limitations in current inexpensive particle monitors, and to realize a particle monitor that may be more relevant to adverse health outcomes by measuring both PM0.3 and PM2.5. The monitor uses optical scattering techniques, measuring light scattering by the particles at two forward angles, to determine PM0.3 and PM2.5. Experimental data from particle monitor prototypes that were developed show good agreement with simulation results. Such a monitor, that is low-cost and easy to use, can provide information directly to the users so that they can be driven to action. In particular, low-income communities that are often impacted by poor air quality will be able to more affordably determine real-time ambient conditions and drive positive change by helping to identify pollution sources and appropriate mitigation measures.

Keywords: Particle monitor, Small particles, Dual angle

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