A Molecular Characterization of Biogenic Secondary Organic Aerosol by High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry: Composition and Volatility.
Lopez-Hilfiker, Felipe Daniel
MetadataShow full item record
The guiding question to this research is: To what extent and by what mechanisms do biogenic volatile organic compounds contribute to atmospheric aerosol mass? To address this question we need to understand the chemistry that produces condensable vapors which when in the presence of particles may partition onto the aerosol surface depending on their chemical and physical properties. I developed an insitu gas and aerosol sampling system, the FIGAERO (Filter Inlet for Gases and AEROsol) to speciate gas and particle phase organics derived from photochemical reactions with biogenic volatile organic compounds under both field and laboratory conditions. By coupling the FIGAERO to a High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer (HR-TOF-CIMS) I am able to elucidate chemical pathways by identifying elemental compositions and in some cases functional groups present in the detected molecular ions. The coupling of the FIGAERO to the HR-TOF-CIMS also allows the estimation of effective vapor pressures of the aerosol components and this information can be used to improve vapor pressure models and test associated partitioning theories and parameterizations. The approach also provides hundreds of speciated chemical tracers that can be correlated with traditional environmental and chemical measurements (e.g AMS, NOx, SO2, SMPS, VOC) to help derive sources and sinks and to constrain the mechanisms responsible for the formation and growth of organic aerosol. Measurements obtained across a wide range of conditions and locations allowing connections and contrasts between different chemical systems, providing insights into generally controlling factors of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and its properties.
- Atmospheric sciences