Concentration Dependent Aerosol Substrates: UV-VIS Attenuation Measurements

Faculty Sponsor

Christopher Iceman


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-28-2016


Ultraviolet and visible (UV/vis) light were used to determine the composition of aerosol samples taken from several military bases located in the Middle East. The aerosols were collected using a cascade impactor placing time resolved aerosols on strips of mylar. These strips were then fed into a fiber optic UV/vis spectrometer which passes light through the mylar strip and detects the amount of transmitted light relative to a blank standard. By measuring the light transmitted, the amount of aerosol on the mylar strip was determined proportional to a calibration curve of standard mass depositions. The UV/vis tests were then compared to results from 𝛃-gauge analysis performed on the same samples to determine the validity of optical transparency as a substitute for electron attenuation studies. It was determined that the UV/vis data is largely comparable to the 𝛃-gauge data showing that UV/vis is a viable alternative to the 𝛃-gauge method as well as being more convenient, expedient, and easier to perform.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Professor Christopher Iceman obtained his PH.D in physical chemistry from the University of Utah and did postdoctoral work in environmental chemistry at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He became interested in issues of environmental significance by working with the Department of Defense to identify health hazard aerosols in foreign theatres and is interested in their global significance. In the future he aims to understand aerosols as source specific identifiers of particulate generation and work towards policy change to improve human health.

Christian Quincy Mundorf is a chemistry and secondary education double major at Valparaiso University from Saline, Michigan. He is in the class of 2019 and plans to be a high school science teacher after he graduates.

Cynthia Smith is a Chemistry major and a physics minor at Valparaiso University, class of 2017. Cynthia resides from Gilberts, Illinois and plans on going into industry after graduation.

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