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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-254
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-254
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  27 Jul 2020

27 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

On the calibration of FIGAERO-ToF-CIMS: importance and impact of calibrant delivery for the particle phase calibration

Arttu Ylisirniö1, Luis Barreira1,2, Iida Pullinen1, Angela Buchholz1, John Jayne3, Jordan E. Krechmer3, Douglas R. Worsnop3, Annele Virtanen1, and Siegfried Schobesberger1 Arttu Ylisirniö et al.
  • 1Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland
  • 2Atmospheric Composition Research, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 3Center for Aerosol and Cloud Chemistry, Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, MA, USA

Abstract. The Filter Inlet for Gases and AEROsols (FIGAERO) coupled with a Time-of-Flight Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer (ToF-CIMS) enables online measurements of both gas-phase and particle phase chemical constituents of ambient aerosols. When properly calibrated, the incorporated particle filter collection and subsequent thermal desorption enable the direct measurement of volatility of said constituents. Previously published volatility calibration results however differ from each other significantly. In this study we investigate the reason for this discrepancy. We found a major source of error in the widely used syringe deposition calibration method that can lead to an overestimation of saturation vapour pressures by several orders of magnitude. We propose a new method for volatility calibration by using atomized calibration compounds that more accurately captures the evaporation of chemical constituents from ambient aerosol particles. We justify our claim with evaporation modelling and direct Scanning Electron Microscopy imaging, while also presenting possible error sources of the atomizer method. We finally present how typical calibration parameters derived with both methods impact the Volatility Basis Set (VBS) derived from measurements of Secondary Organic Aerosols (SOA).

Arttu Ylisirniö et al.

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Short summary
FIGAERO-ToF-CIMS enables online volatility measurements of chemical compounds in ambient aerosols. Previously published volatility calibration results however differ from each other significantly. In this study we investigate the reason for this discrepancy. We found a major source of error in the widely used syringe deposition method and propose a new method for volatility calibration by using atomized calibration compounds.
FIGAERO-ToF-CIMS enables online volatility measurements of chemical compounds in ambient...
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