Partially integrated cantilever-based airborne nanoparticle detector for continuous carbon aerosol mass concentration monitoring
Abstract. The performance of a low-cost partially integrated cantilever-based airborne nanoparticle (NP) detector (CANTOR-1) is evaluated in terms of its real-time measurement and robustness. The device is used for direct reading of exposure to airborne carbon engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) in indoor workplaces. As the main components, a miniaturized electrostatic aerosol sampler and a piezoresistive resonant silicon cantilever mass sensor are employed to collect the ENPs from the air stream to the cantilever surfaces and to measure their mass concentration, respectively. Moreover, to realize a real-time measurement, a frequency tracking system based on a phase-locked loop (PLL) is built and integrated into the device. Long-term ENP exposure and a wet ultrasonic cleaning method are demonstrated to estimate the limitation and extend the operating lifetime of the developed device, respectively. By means of the device calibrations performed with a standard ENP monitoring instrument of a fast mobility particle sizer (FMPS, TSI 3091), a measurement precision of ENP mass concentrations of < 55% and a limit of detection (LOD) of < 25 μg m−3 are obtained.