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Issue 3, 2019
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Probing surfaces of atmospherically relevant organic particles by easy ambient sonic-spray ionization mass spectrometry (EASI-MS)

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Abstract

Both ambient and laboratory-generated particles can have a surface composition different from the bulk, but there are currently few analytical techniques available to probe these differences. Easy ambient sonic-spray ionization mass spectrometry (EASI-MS) was applied to solid, laboratory-generated particles with core–shell morphologies formed from a variety of dicarboxylic acids. The soft ionization facilitated parent peak detection for the two compounds, from which the depth probed could be determined from the relative signal intensities. Two different configurations of a custom-made nebulizer are reported that yield different probe depths. In the “orthogonal mode,” with the nebulizer ∼10 centimeters away from the particle stream and at a 90° angle to the MS inlet, evaporation of the nebulizer droplets forms ions before interaction with the particles. The probe depth for orthogonal mode EASI-MS is shown to be 2–4 nm in these particle systems. In the “droplet mode”, the nebulizer and particle streams are in close proximity to each other and the MS inlet so that the particles interact with charged liquid droplets. This configuration resulted in full dissolution of the particles and gives particle composition similar to that from collection on filters and extraction of the particles (bulk). These studies establish that EASI-MS is a promising technique for probing the chemical structures of inhomogeneous airborne organic particles.

Graphical abstract: Probing surfaces of atmospherically relevant organic particles by easy ambient sonic-spray ionization mass spectrometry (EASI-MS)

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Aug 2018, accepted on 01 Nov 2018 and first published on 09 Nov 2018


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8SC03851A
Chem. Sci., 2019,10, 884-897
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
    All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

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    Probing surfaces of atmospherically relevant organic particles by easy ambient sonic-spray ionization mass spectrometry (EASI-MS)

    L. M. Wingen and B. J. Finlayson-Pitts, Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 884
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SC03851A

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

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