A hyphenated SMPS-ICPMS coupling setup: Size-resolved element specific analysis of airborne nanoparticles
Physical and chemical characterization of gas borne particles in the nanometer to sub micrometer size range includes knowledge about particle size distribution and chemical composition, possibly with a high time resolution. However, most of the available techniques are offline methods and/or not able to provide such physical and chemical information simultaneously. Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) is a well established and widely used technique for determining size distribution and number concentration of such particles, within scan durations of a few minutes. Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS) is a highly sensitive multi element technique, allowing the determination of elemental composition with excellent defection limits and a wide dynamic concentration range. In this work, SNIPS and ICPMS were coupled to one hyphenated system which allows achieving on-line and simultaneously size and chemical information with SMPS-Lypical time resolutions. A Rotating Disk Diluter was used as sample introduction interface, and the SMPS flow concept was re designed to fulfill the requirements of both different analytical methods. The developed setup was successfully tested with a model aerosol containing airborne silver nanoparticles. Proper SMPS operation under argon atmosphere instead of air was validated. The presented setup was applied to scan the particle size range from 7 to 156 um within 120s, Similar sensitivities and efficiencies compared to that of state-of-the-art SMPS and ICPMS instruments were achieved. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.