Numerical modeling of the performance of high flow DMAs to classify sub-2 nm particles

Huang Zhang, Girish Sharma, Yang Wang, Shuiqing Li, Pratim Biswas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


While there are several computational studies on differential mobility analyzers (DMA), there is none for high flow DMA to classify nanoparticles less than 3 nm. A specific design of a high flow DMA, a half mini DMA, is investigated to predict its performance through numerical modeling in the incompressible flow regime. The governing equations for flow field, electric field and aerosol transport are solved using COMSOL 5.3. The transfer function of the half mini DMA is compared with that of a nano DMA (TSI 3085). The results show that both the height of the transfer function and resolution (R) of the half mini DMA are much better than those of nano DMA in sub-2 nm particle size range. Finally, the transfer function of half mini DMA is evaluated for different values of aerosol flow rate to the sheath flow rate (q/Q). Comparison of the simulated transfer function with existing models from Knutson–Whitby and Stolzenburg is also elucidated. It is found that the former model overestimates the resolution; whereas the latter is close to the simulation results for q/Q above 0.067. This work provides a useful method to study the flow regimes and transfer function of a high flow DMA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-118
Number of pages13
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Kihong Park

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pollution


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