University of Minnesota, Particle Technology Laboratory (UMN-PTL)

The Particle Technology Laboratory is one of the leading centers of small particle research in the U.S.  It was founded in the 1950's by the late Professor K. T. Whitby.  The immediate past director is Regents’ Professor Emeritus Benjamin Liu.  It has grown to its present size of six faculty members, four technical and support staff, and approximately 25 graduate students working on various research projects and degree programs.  The Laboratory has published approximately 1,450 papers and reports, and produced approximately 150 Ph.D.'s and 400 Master level students. PTL is well-known for its instrumentation development activities. Instruments for particle generation, measurement, sampling and analysis in the range of 0.002 to 100 µm have been developed. Research has been incorporated into codes and standards by NIST, ASTM, ASHRAE, EPA, and ISO, etc.  

Major facilities of the Laboratory include 15,000 square feet of general laboratory space, and 500 sq. ft. of class 100 cleanroom space; wind tunnel, filter testing, and vacuum facilities; instruments for particle generation, measurement, sampling and analysis in the 0.002 to 100 µm diameter range; and microscopes, electron microbalances, gas analyzers, anemometry and other laboratory instruments.  The estimated value of the laboratory instrumentation is in excess of $3 Million.

The Laboratory also offers an annual Aerosol and Particle Measurement Shortcourse for training professionals from industry, university and government laboratories. It has now been offered 34 times with over 1,900 attendees.