Calibration of a particle mass spectrometer using polydispersed aerosol particles

2018-11-08T16:40:48Z (GMT) by Cuizhi Sun Nobuyuki Takegawa
<p>Routine calibrations of online aerosol chemical composition analyzers are important for assessing data quality during field measurements. The combination of a differential mobility analyzer (DMA) and condensation particle counter (CPC) is a reliable, conventional method for calibrations. However, some logistical issues arise, including the use of radioactive material, quality control, and deployment costs. Herein, we propose a new, simple calibration method for a particle mass spectrometer using polydispersed aerosol particles combined with an optical particle sizer. We used a laser-induced incandescence–mass spectrometric analyzer (LII-MS) to test the new method. Polydispersed aerosol particles of selected chemical compounds (ammonium sulfate and potassium nitrate) were generated by an aerosol atomizer. The LII section was used as an optical particle sizer for measuring number/volume size distributions of polydispersed aerosol particles. The calibration of the MS section was performed based on the mass concentrations of polydispersed aerosol particles estimated from the integration of the volume size distributions. The accuracy of the particle sizing for each compound is a key issue and was evaluated by measuring optical pulse height distributions for monodispersed ammonium sulfate and potassium nitrate particles as well as polystyrene latex particles. A comparison of the proposed method with the conventional DMA-CPC method and its potential uncertainties are discussed.</p> <p>© 2018 American Association for Aerosol Research</p>