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A method for extracting calibrated volatility information from the FIGAERO-HR-ToF-CIMS and its experimental application

Journal article
Authors T. J. Bannan
Michael Le Breton
Michael Priestley
S. D. Worrall
A. Bacak
N. A. Marsden
A. Mehra
Julia Hammes
Mattias Hallquist
M. R. Alfarra
U. K. Krieger
J. P. Reid
J. Jayne
W. Robinson
G. McFiggans
H. Coe
C. J. Percival
D. Topping
Published in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
Volume 12
Issue 3
Pages 1429-1439
ISSN 1867-1381
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 1429-1439
Language en
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences, Analytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Other Chemistry Topics, Climate Research, Environmental Sciences, Environmental chemistry, Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences


The Filter Inlet for Gases and AEROsols (FIGAERO) is an inlet specifically designed to be coupled with the Aerodyne High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-CIMS). The FIGAERO-HR-ToF-CIMS provides simultaneous molecular information relating to both the gas- and particle-phase samples and has been used to extract vapour pressures (VPs) of the compounds desorbing from the filter whilst giving quantitative concentrations in the particle phase. However, such extraction of vapour pressures of the measured particle-phase components requires use of appropriate, well-defined, reference compounds. Vapour pressures for the homologous series of polyethylene glycols (PEG) ((H-(O-CH 2 CH 2 ) n -OH) for n = 3 to n = 8), covering a range of vapour pressures (VP) (10 -1 to 10 -7 Pa) that are atmospherically relevant, have been shown to be reproduced well by a range of different techniques, including Knudsen Effusion Mass Spectrometry (KEMS). This is the first homologous series of compounds for which a number of vapour pressure measurement techniques have been found to be in agreement, indicating the utility as a calibration standard, providing an ideal set of benchmark compounds for accurate characterization of the FIGAERO for extracting vapour pressure of measured compounds in chambers and the real atmosphere. To demonstrate this, single-component and mixture vapour pressure measurements are made using two FIGAERO-HR-ToF-CIMS instruments based on a new calibration determined from the PEG series. VP values extracted from both instruments agree well with those measured by KEMS and reported values from literature, validating this approach for extracting VP data from the FIGAERO. This method is then applied to chamber measurements, and the vapour pressures of known products are estimated. © 2019 Author(s).

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