Inertial impaction technique for the classification of particulate matters and nanoparticles: A review

Thi Cuc Le, Chuen-Jinn Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Inertial impactors are applied widely to classify particulate matters (PMs) and nanoparticles (NPs) with desired aerodynamic diameters for further analyses due to their sharp cutoff characteristics, simple design, easy operation, and high collection ability. A few hundred papers have been published since the 1860s that addressed the characteristics and applications of the inertial impactors. In the last 30 years, our group has also carried out lots of studies to contribute to the design and the improvement of inertial impactors. With our understanding of inertial impactors, this article reviews previous studies of some typical types of the inertial impactors including conventional impactors, cascade impactors, and virtual impactors and the parameters for design consideration of these devices. The article also reviews some applications of the inertial impactors, which are mass concentration measurement, mass and number distribution measurement, personal exposure measurement, particulate matter control, and powder classification. The synthesized knowledge of the inertial impactor in this study can help researchers to design an inertial impactor with an accurate cutoff diameter, a sharp collection efficiency curve, and no particle bounce and particle overloading effects for long-term use for PM classification and control purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-63
Number of pages22
JournalKONA Powder and Particle Journal
StatePublished - 10 Jan 2021


  • Cascade impactor
  • Inertial impactor
  • Nanoparticles
  • Sampling
  • Virtual impactor


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