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The ToF-ACSM: a portable aerosol chemical speciation monitor with TOFMS detection

Author(s): R. Fröhlich | M. J. Cubison | J. G. Slowik | N. Bukowiecki | A. S. H. Prévôt | U. Baltensperger | J. Schneider | J. R. Kimmel | M. Gonin | U. Rohner | D. R. Worsnop | J. T. Jayne

Journal: Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions
ISSN 1867-8610

Volume: 6;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 6767;
Date: 2013;
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We present a new instrument for monitoring aerosol composition, the economy time-of-flight-aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ToF-ACSM), combining precision of state-of-the-art time-of-flight mass spectrometry with stability, reliability, and easy handling, which are necessities for long-term monitoring operations on the scale of months to years. Based on Aerodyne aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) technology, the ToF-ACSM provides continuous online measurements of chemical composition and mass of non-refractory submicron aerosol particles. In contrast to the larger AMS, the compact-sized and lower-priced ToF-ACSM does not feature particle sizing, similar to the widely-used quadrupole-ACSM (Q-ACSM). Compared to the Q-ACSM, the ToF-ACSM features a better mass resolution of MM = 600 and better detection limits on the order of 6 months) on the Jungfraujoch mountain ridge (3580 m a.s.l.) in the Swiss Alps agree quantitatively. Additionally, the mass resolution of the ToF-ACSM is sufficient for basic mass defect resolved peak fitting of the recorded spectra, providing a data stream not accessible to the Q-ACSM. This allows for quantification of certain hydrocarbon and oxygenated fragments (e.g. C3H7+ and C2H3O+, both occurring at m/Q = 43 Th), as well as improving inorganic/organic separation.
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