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Authors: Hünig, Andreas
Appel, Oliver
Dragoneas, Antonis
Molleker, Sergej
Clemen, Hans-Christian
Helleis, Frank
Klimach, Thomas
Köllner, Franziska
Böttger, Thomas
Drewnick, Frank
Schneider, Johannes
Borrmann, Stephan
Title: Design, characterization, and first field deployment of a novel aircraft-based aerosol mass spectrometer combining the laser ablation and flash vaporization techniques
Online publication date: 13-Apr-2023
Year of first publication: 2022
Language: english
Abstract: In this paper, we present the design, development, and characteristics of the novel aerosol mass spectrometer ERICA (ERC Instrument for Chemical composition of Aerosols; ERC – European Research Council) and selected results from the first airborne field deployment. The instrument combines two well-established methods of real-time in situ measurements of fine particle chemical composition. The first method is the laser desorption and ionization technique, or laser ablation technique, for single-particle mass spectrometry (here with a frequency-quadrupled Nd:YAG laser at D266 nm). The second method is a combination of thermal particle desorption, also called flash vaporization, and electron impact ionization (like the Aerodyne aerosol mass spectrometer). The same aerosol sample flow is analyzed using both methods simultaneously, each using timeof-flight mass spectrometry. By means of the laser ablation, single particles are qualitatively analyzed (including the refractory components), while the flash vaporization and electron impact ionization technique provides quantitative information on the non-refractory components (i.e., particulate sulfate, nitrate, ammonia, organics, and chloride) of small particle ensembles. These techniques are implemented in two consecutive instrument stages within a common sample inlet and a common vacuum chamber. At its front end, the sample air containing the aerosol particles is continuously injected via an aerodynamic lens. All particles which are not ablated by the Nd:YAG laser in the first instrument stage continue their flight until they reach the second instrument stage and impact on the vaporizer surface (operated at 600 C). The ERICA is capable of detecting single particles with vacuum aerodynamic diameters (dva) between 180 and 3170 nm (d50 cutoff). The chemical characterization of single particles is achieved by recording cations and anions with a bipolar time-of-flight mass spectrometer. For the measurement of non-refractory components, the particle size range extends from approximately 120 to 3500 nm (d50 cutoff; dva), and the cations are detected with a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. The compact dimensions of the instrument are such that the ERICA can be deployed on aircraft, at ground stations, or in mobile laboratories. To characterize the focused detection lasers, the ablation laser, and the particle beam, comprehensive laboratory experiments were conducted. During its first deployments the instrument was fully automated and operated during 11 research flights on the Russian high-altitude research aircraft M-55 Geophysica from ground pressure and temperature to 20 km altitude at 55 hPa and ambient temperatures as low as 􀀀86 C. In this paper, we show that the ERICA is capable of measuring reliably under such conditions.
DDC: 530 Physik
530 Physics
540 Chemie
540 Chemistry and allied sciences
600 Technik
600 Technology (Applied sciences)
620 Ingenieurwissenschaften und Maschinenbau
620 Engineering and allied operations
624 Ingenieurbau und Umwelttechnik
624 Civil engineering
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 08 Physik, Mathematik u. Informatik
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Document type specification: Scientific article
License: CC BY
Information on rights of use:
Journal: Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
Pages or article number: 2889
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH EGU
Publisher place: Katlenburg-Lindau
Issue date: 2022
ISSN: 1867-8548
Publisher DOI: 10.5194/amt-15-2889-2022
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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