Effects of inlet/outlet configurations on the electrostatic capture of airborne nanoparticles and viruses

Jaesung Jang, Chung Ang Univ, Dept Mech Engn
Demir Akin, Purdue University
Rashid Bashir, Birck Nanotechnology Center and Bindley Bioscience Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version

June 2008


Meas. Sci. Technol. 19 (2008) 065204 (8pp)

This document has been peer-reviewed.



Motivated by capture and detection of airborne biological agents in real time with a cantilever biosensor without introducing the agents into liquids, we present the effects of inlet/outlet configurations of a homemade particle collector on the electrostatic capture of airborne 100 nm diameter nanoparticles under swirling gas flows. This particle collector has three different inlet/outlet configurations: forward inlet/outlet (FO), backward inlet/outlet (BO) and straight inlet/outlet (SO) configurations. We also present the electrostatic capture of Vaccinia viruses using the same particle collector and compare these virus measurements with the nanoparticle cases. The most particles were collected in the FO configuration. The numbers of particles captured in the BO and SO configurations were close within their standard deviations. For all the three configurations tested, the number of particles captured in the center electrode C was much smaller than those captured in the other electrodes at a flow rate of 1.11 min(-1) and an applied potential of 2 kV. Using a commercial CFD code FLUENT, we also simulated the effects of the three inlet/outlet configurations on the particle capture in terms of particle trajectories, velocities and travel times. This simulation was in a good agreement with measurements that the FO configuration is the most favorable to particle capture among the tested configurations at a flow rate of 1.11 min(-1). The effects of particle diameters on the capture will also be discussed. This collector can be used for real-time monitoring of bioaerosols along with cantilever biosensors.