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Aerosol Particle Composition

Real-Time Measurements of Aerosol Particle Composition


Aerosol Particle Composition

Aerosol particles are ubiquitous in ambient air and are of great importance to human and environmental health, climate change, and many industrial processes. The ability to measure their chemical composition is essential to understand the sources of aerosols, their chemical properties, and their potential toxicity.

Real-time, online measurement that provides detailed chemical information of complex submicron particles at a total concentration of ~ 1 ug/m3 is now available with the recently developed Extractive Electrospray Ionization technology (EESI). EESI provides fast (1sec), direct measurement of organic and inorganic species in the aerosol particles without the need for filter collection. This avoids potential collection and/or extraction artifacts. EESI is a soft ionization technique, therefore fragmentation of the targeted analytes in the particles is greatly reduced. The high time resolution, together with portability of the mass spectrometer, creates an unprecedented field-deployable system for ambient monitoring

For more information about TOF for atmospheric chemistry research, please contact our partner, Aerodyne Research.


  • Real-Time Aerosol Particle Analysis using EESI Technology

    • Highest sensitivity available with 5-10 ng m-3 LOD for single aerosol species
    • High mass resolving power enables identification of individual compounds within complex mixtures
    • Minimal fragmentation
    • Real-time and fast data output capturing rapid changes in aerosol composition
    • Field deployable system
    • Suitable for mobile monitoring

    Real-Time Molecular Level Aerosol Analysis

    Read more about EESI in these references:

    1. V. Pospisilova; F. Lopez-Hilfiker; D. Bell; I. El Haddad; C. MohrW. Huang; L. HeikkinenM. Xiao; J. Dommen; A. Prevot;  U. Baltensperger; J. Slowik.  On the fate of oxygenated organic molecules in atmospheric aerosol particles.  Science Advances2020DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax8922
    2. Stefenelli, G.; Pospisilova, V.; Lopez-Hilfiker, F.; Daellenbach, K.; Hüglin, Yandong TongC.;  Baltensperger, U.; Prévôt, A.; Slowik, J. Organic aerosol source apportionment in Zurich using an extractive electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer (EESI-TOF-MS) – Part 1: Biogenic influences and day–night chemistry in summer. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics2019DOI: 10.5194/acp-19-14825-2019
    3. Qi, L.; Chen, M.; Stefenelli, G.; Pospisilova, V.; Tong, Y.; Bertrand, A.; Hueglin, C.;  Ge, X.; Baltensperger, U.;   Prévôt, A.; Slowik, J. Organic aerosol source apportionment in Zurich using an extractive electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer (EESI-TOF-MS) – Part 2: Biomass burning influences in winter. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics2019.  DOI: 10.5194/acp-19-8037-2019
    4. F. Lopez-Hilfiker et al. An Extractive Electrospray Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer (EESI-TOF) for online measurement of atmospheric aerosol particles, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,  2019. DOI: 10.5194/amt-12-4867-2019

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