Glass particle resuspension from a contaminated (dirty) glass surface

Sara Brambilla, Scott Speckart, Matthew N. Rush, Gabriel A. Montano, Michael J. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A wealth of adhesion force measurements between a variety of particle/surface pairs have been gathered via Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) in the past years. However, these measurements deal mostly with clean surfaces and particles for reproducibility. It is therefore up for debate whether particle resuspension could be calculated using these measurements as surrogates for real outdoor particles and surfaces, which often carry both organic and inorganic contaminants (“urban grime”). Two components are necessary to investigate this question: (1) adhesion force measurements on both clean and contaminated surfaces and (2) estimation of particle resuspension from both surface types. In this work, AFM was used to measure the distribution of the adhesion force between a 5-µm clean glass particle and two glass surfaces: the first cleaned according to conventional laboratory standards and a second one left outdoors for six weeks in Albuquerque (New Mexico). The Rock ‘n′ Roll model was modified to use experimental adhesion force distributions of arbitrary shape and number of modes instead of a lognormal distribution, as in the original work Reeks & Hall (2001). The results of this analysis showed that the differences in the fraction of particles resuspended were small for a friction velocity of 0.5 m/s but increased for 1 and 2 m/s. For instance, for a friction velocity of 3 m/s, 71% of the original deposit was still on the surface after a day for the clean glass, while only 33% remained on the contaminated glass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-130
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Aerosol Science
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Adhesion force distribution
  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Particle resuspension
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll model
  • Surface contamination
  • Surface fouling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Pollution
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Atmospheric Science


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