This work aims at improving knowledge on ultrafine aerosols surface-area measurement. Indeed, the development of nanotechnologies may lead to occupational exposure to airborne nanostructured particles, which involves a new prevention issue.
There is currently no consensus concerning what parameter (mass, surface-area, number) should be measured. However, surface-area could be a relevant metric, since it leads to a satisfying correlation with biological effects when nanostructured particles are inhaled. Hence, an original theoretical work was performed to position the parameter of surface-area in relation to other aerosol characteristics.
To investigate measurement techniques of nanostructured aerosols surface-area, the experimental facility CAIMAN (ChAracterization of Instruments for the Measurement of Aerosols of Nanoparticles) was designed and built. Within CAIMAN, it is possible to produce nanostructured aerosols with varying and controlled properties (size, concentration, chemical nature, morphology, state-of-chargel, stable and reproductble in tlme.
The generated aerosols were used to experimentally characterize the response of the instruments in study (NSAM & AeroTrak 9000 TSI, LQ1-DC Matter Engineering). The response functlons measured wlth monodisperse aerosols show a good agreement with the corresponding theoretical curves in a large size range, from 15 to 520 nm. Furthermore, hypotheses have been formulated to explain the reasonable blases observed when measuring polydisperse aerosols.