Compact, Lightweight Counter for Atmospheric Cloud Condensation Nuclei and Condensation Nuclei

This invention comprises a compact, lightweight apparatus and method for directly sampling the local atmosphere and measuring, analyzing, and reporting either or both of condensation nuclei (CN) or cloud condensation nuclei (CCN).  The apparatus includes integral optical detection, a microproccesor, and software for control and recording.


The condensation nuclei (CN) are tiny aerosol particles (which may generally range in size from 1 Angstrom up to 1 mm) in the atmosphere on the surfaces of which water vapor condenses to form a water droplet or an ice particle.

The condensation nuclei that serve as cloud seeds, on which water vapor condenses, are referred to as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) – these are atmospheric particles that absorb water in the presence of supersaturated water vapor and grow, or activate, to form cloud droplets.  The CCN can be the size of about 0.1 to 1 micron or so, or about 1/100 the size of a cloud droplet. Cloud condensation nuclei are 1/100 the size of a cloud droplet. For example, if a cloud condensation nucleus is about 0.2 micrometer in size, then a typical cloud droplet would be about 20 micrometers, and a typical raindrop would be 2000 micrometers. 


  • Air quality monitoring for health
  • Clean room air quality monitoring and control
  • Atmospheric study, modelling


  • Dual Mode for CN, CCN counting
  • Compact, lightweight, portable
  • Low cost, enabling mass use


Contact Information

TTO Home Page:

Name: Laura Silva

Title: Sr. Licensing Manager, COS

Department: TLA