Means For Identifying Sensed Particle Matter

Tech ID: 22943 / UC Case 2013-069-0

Patent Status

Patent Pending

Brief Description

There is growing interest in ubiquitous monitoring of the ambient atmosphere indoors and outdoors. To address this opportunity, low-cost, fixed and portable particulate monitors are under development.

UC Berkeley researchers developed a portable particulate monitor. That patent pending device samples the ambient atmosphere and measures the mass of particles. UC Berkeley researchers have expanded the functionality of that portable device to include the analysis and identification of particles that it senses. The enhanced device can also clean itself of particles and thereby extend its operating life.

The Berkeley monitor can determine the concentration of particles in the ambient air such as particles produced from combustion, emission or distribution of bioaerosols, bacterial aerosols, allergens (i.e. pollen), and gaseous pollutants. It could therefore could be used to alert users to the presence of allergens, particles that are harmful to inhale (i.e. silica), as well as toxic or explosive gases. In addition to portable applications, these devices could be permanently installed in buildings, HVAC systems and forced-air furnaces.

Suggested uses

Inexpensive and thereby widespread measurement of airborne particulate matter concentrations such as diesel exhaust, woodsmoke, tobacco smoke and potentially pollen.

The monitors can be situated on buildings, electricity distribution and transmission lines, and other infrastructure, as well as in mobile applications such as on individuals and vehicles (i.e. cars, buses, trucks and trains).


  • Increases sensitivity
  • Reduces temperature sensitivity
  • Reduces power requirements
  • Reduces size and costs
  • Eliminates the need for vertically orienting the device to maintain a vertical airflow
  • Analyzes data without the need for bulky, expensive equipment
  • Couples to a location-aware mobile device (i.e. cell phone) to enable geographical analysis of particulates

Related Materials


Learn About UC TechAlerts - Save Searches and receive new technology matches


  • White, Richard M.

Other Information

Categorized As