07 Sep 2022
07 Sep 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Development of an SI-traceable transmission curve reference material to improve comparability of proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry measurements

David Robert Worton1, Sergi Moreno1,a, Kieran O'Daly1, and Rupert Holzinger2 David Robert Worton et al.
  • 1National Physical Laboratory, Hampton Road, Teddington, TW11 0LW, United Kingdom
  • 2Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, IMAU, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • anow at: World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 7bis Avenue de la Paix, C.P. 2300 CH-1211, Geneva 2, Switzerland

Abstract. Since its inception more than two decades ago proton-transfer-reaction mass-spectrometry (PTR-MS) has established itself as a powerful technique for the measurements of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) providing high time resolution, high sensitivity measurements without any sample pre-treatment. As this technology has matured and its application become more widespread there is a growing need for accurate and traceable calibration to ensure measurement comparability. As a result of the large number of VOCs detectable with PTR-MS it is impractical to have a calibration standard or standards that cover all observable compounds. However, recent work has demonstrated that quantitative measurements of uncalibrated compounds are possible provided that the transmission curve is sufficiently constrained. To enable this, a novel multi-component gas reference material containing 20 compounds that spans the molecular weight range of 32 to 671 has been developed. This development and the compositional evolution of this reference material are described along with an evaluation of the accuracy and stability. This work demonstrates that for the majority of components the accuracy is < 5 % (most < 3 %; < 10 % for hexamethylcyclotrisiloxane (D3-siloxane) and 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene (1,2,4-TCB)) with stabilities of > 2 years (> 1 year for acetonitrile, methanol and PFTBA).

David Robert Worton et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2022-243', Wiebke Scholz, 28 Sep 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Dave Worton, 03 Feb 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2022-243', Anonymous Referee #2, 23 Nov 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Dave Worton, 03 Feb 2023

David Robert Worton et al.

David Robert Worton et al.


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Short summary
Proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry is widely used in the environmental, health and food and beverage sectors. As a result, there is a need for accurate and comparable measurements. In this work we have developed a 20 component gravimetrically prepared primary reference material (gas standard in a high pressure cylinder) to enable quantitative and comparable measurements. The accuracy of all components was better than 3–10 % with stabilities of more than 1–2 years.