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Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1614;

Design and Evaluation of an Aerosol Electrometer with Low Noise and a Wide Dynamic Range

1,2,* , 1,3
Key Laboratory of Environmental Optics and Technology, Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031, China
Science Island Branch of Graduate School, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
CAS Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 12 May 2018 / Published: 18 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Emerging Environmental Markers and Contaminants)
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A low-noise aerosol electrometer with a wide dynamic range has been designed for measuring the total net charge on high concentration aerosol particles within the range of −500 pA to +500 pA. The performance of the aerosol electrometer was evaluated by a series of experiments to determine linearity, sensitivity and noise. The relative errors were controlled within 5.0%, 1.0% and 0.3% at the range of −40 pA to +40 pA, ±40 pA to ±100 pA, and ±100 pA to ±500 pA respectively. The stability of the designed aerosol electrometer was found to be highly sensitive to temperature variations, but under temperature control, the root mean square noise and the peak-to-peak noise were 1.040 fA and 5.2 fA respectively, which are very close to the calculated theoretical limit of the current noise. The excellent correlation and the advantage of a wide dynamic range have been demonstrated by comparing with the designed aerosol electrometer to a commercial aerosol electrometer. A 99.7% (R2) statistical correlation was obtained; meanwhile, the designed aerosol electrometer operated well even when an overrange phenomenon appeared in the commercial aerosol electrometer. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerosol electrometer; wide dynamic range; temperature effect aerosol electrometer; wide dynamic range; temperature effect

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Yang, Y.; Yu, T.; Zhang, J.; Wang, W.; Gui, H.; Du, P.; Liu, J. Design and Evaluation of an Aerosol Electrometer with Low Noise and a Wide Dynamic Range. Sensors 2018, 18, 1614.

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