An aerosol lab-on-a-chip (ALOC) integrates one or more of a variety of aerosol collection, classification, concentration (enrichment), and characterization processes onto a single substrate or layered stack of such substrates. By taking advantage of modern micro-machining capabilities, an entire suite of discrete laboratory aerosol handling and characterization techniques can be combined in a single portable device that can provide a wealth of data on the aerosol being sampled. The ALOC offers parallel characterization techniques and close proximity of the various characterization modules helps ensure that the same aerosol is available to all devices (dramatically reducing sampling and transport errors). Micro-machine fabrication of the ALOC significantly reduces unit costs relative to existing technology, and enables the fabrication of small, portable ALOC devices, as well as the potential for rugged design to allow operation in harsh environments. Miniaturization also offers the potential of working with smaller particle sizes and lower pressure drops (leading to reduction of power consumption).
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 between the United States Department of Energy and the Sandia Corporation for the operation of the Sandia National Laboratories.