Aerosol mass spectrometry
Aerosol mass spectrometry is the application of mass spectrometry to aerosol particles. Aerosol particles are defined as suspended solid and liquid particles with size range of 0.1 nm to 1000 μm in diameter. Aerosol particles are produce from natural and anthropogenic sources, through a variety of different process that include; wind-blown suspension, and combustion of fossil fuels and biomass. Analysis of aerosol particles is important because of their major impacts on the global climate change, visibility, regional air pollution and human health. Aerosol particles are very complex in structure and can contain thousand of different chemical compounds within a single particle. Due to this complexity the instrumentation used to analysis these particles must have the ability to separate based on size and in real-time provide information on their chemical composition. To meet these requirements for analysis, mass spectrometry instrumentation is used and they provide high sensitivity and the ability to detect a wide molecular mass range. Aerosol mass spectrometry can be divided into two categorizes; off-line and on-line. Off-line mass spectrometry is performed on collected particles. On-line mass spectrometry is performed on particles introduced in real time.