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Title: Selective characterisation of engineered nanoparticles in aerosols using nucleation and optical techniques
Author: Steer, Brian
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2014
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The aim of this project is to develop novel approaches for the detection and characterisation of engineered and other potentially harmful nanoparticles in the air. In particular we wish to distinguish specific nanomaterials from the background atmospheric aerosol to provide a means of measuring human exposure to nanomaterials that may present a risk to health. Ideally, solutions should be practically deployable in the field. The metrics considered for measurement across this project are: size, number, chemical nature and surface area. Two main approaches are chosen to address these requirements: online size selective surface area controlled nucleation, and quantitative assessment of size resolved Raman spectroscopic maps. The first approach is based on the discovery of a different regime type of heterogeneous nucleation. In this case nucleation probability is determined by the surface area of the aerosol rather than the number of nuclei present. A portable DMA has also been developed allowing for the pre-separation of particles according to size in a compact package. Combining this DMA with the novel nucleation technology provides a means of measuring surface area distributions of particles. Finally, a novel Raman spectroscopic methodology is presented for the chemically specific quantification of aerodynamically size selected samples. Particles are first aerodynamically size segregated from the air in a wide size range sampler. These size fractionated samples are analysed by Raman spectroscopy. Imaging analysis is then applied to Raman spatial maps to provide chemically specific quantification against the substrate as a proxy for background aerosol. Analysing this data in combination with the known deposition efficiency of aerosols in the respiratory tract (provided by the sampling method), can then provide a complete exposure measurement approach.
Supervisor: Podoleanu, Adrian; Gorbunov, Boris Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QC Physics ; QC176.8.N35 Nanoscience ; nanotechnology ; QC355 Optics