Lensfree Air-Quality Monitoring of Fine and Ultrafine Particulate Matter Using Vapor-Condensed Nanolenses

Maryam Baker, Florian Gollier, Jeffrey E. Melzer, Euan McLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Current commercial air-quality monitoring devices lack a large dynamic range, especially at the small, ultrafine size scale. Furthermore, there is a low density of air-quality monitoring stations, reducing the precision with which local particulate matter hazards can be tracked. Here, we show a low-cost, lensfree, and portable air-quality monitoring device (LPAQD) that can detect and measure micron-sized particles down to 100 nm-sized particles, with the capability to track and measure particles in real time throughout a day and the ability to accurately measure particulate matter densities as low as 3 μg m-3. A vapor-condensed film is deposited onto the coverslip used to collect particles before the LPAQD is deployed at outdoor monitoring sites. The vapor-condensed film increases the scattering cross section of particles smaller than the pixel size, enabling the sub-pixel and sub-diffraction-limit-sized particles to be detected. The high dynamic range, low cost, and portability of this device can enable citizens to monitor their own air quality to hopefully impact user decisions that reduce the risk for particulate matter-related diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11166-11174
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 14 2023


  • air-quality monitoring
  • digital holography
  • lensfree microscopy
  • nanolenses
  • ultrafines
  • vapor-condensed film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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