A Practical Guide on Coupling a Scanning Mobility Sizer and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (SMPS-ICPMS)

A large variety of analytical methods are available to characterize particles in aerosols and suspensions. The choice of the appropriate technique depends on the properties to be determined. In many fields information about particle size and chemical composition are of great importance. While in aerosol techniques particle size distributions of gas-borne particles are determined online, their elemental composition is commonly analyzed offline after an appropriate sampling and preparation procedure. To obtain both types of information online and simultaneously, a hyphenated setup was recently developed, including a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) and an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICPMS). This allows first to classify the particles with respect to their mobility diameter, and then to determine their number concentration and elemental composition in parallel. A Rotating Disk Diluter (RDD) is used as the introduction system, giving more flexibility regarding the use of different aerosol sources. In this work, a practical guide is provided describing the different steps for establishing this instrumentation, and how to use this analysis tool. The versatility of this hyphenated technique is demonstrated in example measurements on three different aerosols generated out of a) a salt solution, b) a suspension, and c) emitted by a thermal process.

Tarik, M., Foppiano, D., Hess, A., & Ludwig, C. (2017). A Practical Guide on Coupling a Scanning Mobility Sizer and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (SMPS-ICPMS). Journal of Visualized Experiments, 125. doi:10.3791/55487