Application of an aerosol electrical mobility spectrum analyzer: Charged-particle polarity ratio measurement in the Antarctic and Arctic regions

Kang-Ho Ahn , Handol Lee , Hyeok Chung


Received August 20, 2020,Revised , Accepted December 23, 2020, Available online January 14, 2021

Volume 33,2021,Pages 81-89

An aerosol electrical mobility spectrum analyzer (AEMSA), developed at Hanyang University, was employed to investigate the particle charge characteristics in the Antarctic and Arctic regions. The particle charge characteristics in these areas were compared with the charging state in Ansan, South Korea, located in the midlatitude, where artificial factors, such as human activity, urbanization, and traffic, might result in a higher total concentration. Furthermore, in Ansan, South Korea, the charged-particle polarity ratio was very stable and was close to 1. However, notably different particle charge characteristics were obtained in the Antarctic and Arctic regions. The imbalance between the numbers of positively and negatively charged particles was evident, resulting in more positive charges on the atmospheric particles. On average, the positively charged particle concentrations in the Antarctic and Arctic areas were 1.4 and 2.8 times higher, respectively, compared with the negatively charged particles. The developed AEMSA system and the findings of this study provide useful information on the characteristics of atmospheric aerosols in the Antarctic and Arctic regions and can be further utilized to study particle formation mechanisms.

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