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How to choose the best negative ion counter

1. Classified by the detector

Ion counters are classified by the detector as mentioned in Classification of ion counters. Please also refer to Negative ion counter comparison chart.


Dual cylindrical detector (aka. Air suction detector)
Most of ion counters classified in this group are high-end products which provide accurate measurement. They are designed to be installed in a room and good for many applications.



Parallel flat plate detector
Many affordable and portable ion counters use this detector. They do not provide highly accurate measurement but are used by many corporate users.



GM (Geiger-Müller) tube detector
Ion counters using this detector can measure negative ions generated by radioactive materials such as natural ores only and they cannot detect negative ions generated by negative ion generators using the corona discharge, electron radiation or water splashing method.



Single electrode detector (aka. Ion checker)
They are often called "Ion checker" and good for test operations because they only detect presence of high density ions and cannot measure exact ion counts or mobility of a particular group of ions.


2. Measurement of air ions with specific mobility ranges

If you intend to measure negative ions generated by a product designed to produce positive effects on health, you need an ion counter which can measure small ions only. This is because small ones are said to have more positive effects on the human body than others.

You need an ion counter which can measure small ions only in order to observe ion effects on the human body because small ones are said to have more positive effects than others.

Mobility ranges, which ion counters can measure, are usually found in the specifications of air suction type products, which is normally 0.5+/-.

The mobility ranges of each ion group are as shown below. Please also refer to Mobility.

[Mobility range] *
Small ions: 0.4(cm2/VS)+
Middle ions: 0.001-0.4(cm2/VS)
Large ions: 0-0.001(cm2/VS)
* Established by Japan Air Cleaning Association in 1970
You need an ion counter which can measure up to the mobility range of large ions for research on environment, meteorology or atmospheric electronic.

Ion counters using the GM (Geiger-Müller) tube or single electrode (aka. Ion checker) detector cannot measure mobility of a particular group of ions only because they detect radiation or electric charge and convert to the ion count in different ways from other ion detectors.

It is very important to make sure if you can measure mobility of a specific group of ions only.


3. Measuring range limit

Some ion counters can measure only up to 20,000 (pcs/cc) and some can handle as many as 20,000,000 (pcs/cc). It is important to pay attention to the measuring range limit of the ion counter you are about to purchase if you are going to measure high density ions generated by negative ion generators.
Index - Ion Counter
- Reasons why a negative ion counter is needed
- Application examples of a negative ion counter
- Classification of ion counters
- Measurement principles
- How to choose the best negative ion counter
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