The PIXE method constitutes a tool for fast, reliable multi-elemental analysis of small samples. These properties are very attractive in aerosol sciences and in aerosol monitoring programmes. Thus PIXE allows the use of small samplers which are easy to deploy and could be operated for long periods even at more or less remote sites. For working environment aerosols, samplers with time resolution can be, and in a few cases are, designed for personal continuous sampling in the breathing zone. For both practical and economical reasons, PIXE, in many applications, facilitates the gathering of multi-elemental information about aerosols with more detailed size, site and time resolution when compared with conventional techniques. Conditions for maximum exploitation of the PIXE technique in aerosol research are development of suitable samplers, optimal sampling strategies and adequate analytical procedures taking the unique properties of PIXE into consideration. These developmental tasks require intense interactions between several research and development disciplines. In this paper, the state of the art of samplers matched to the PIXE method is reviewed.