Measuring air borne nanoparticles for characterizing hyphenated RDD-SMPS-ICPMS instrumentation
Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS), complemented by a Rotating Disk Diluter (RDD) to a hyphenated RDD-SMPS-ICPMS measuring setup, allow online and simultaneous determination of size distribution and elemental composition of gas borne nanoparticles. This coupling strategy offers high flexibility in terms of dealing with different aerosols, loaded with metallic nanoparticles. The capabilities of such an instrument are demonstrated on uniformly composited metal aerosols, as well as an aerosol mixture containing smaller gold and larger silver nanoparticles. The size resolved ICPMS intensity curves correlate very well to the size distributions, determined by the coupled SMPS, and also to those from a non-modified reference SMPS instrument. Particulate iron, gold, and silver are detected with SMPS scan durations of a few minutes, and nanoparticles of different sizes and compositions are successfully distinguished. Sensitivity and limit of detection, related to particle number and mass concentration, are determined for several elements and particle diameters. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.