The potential of mid-infrared photothermal deflection spectrometry for aerosol analysis is demonstrated. Ammonium nitrate aerosols are deposited on a flat substrate using a micro-orifice uniform deposit impactor (MOUDI). Photothermal spectroscopy with optical beam deflection (mirage
effect) is used to detect deposited aerosols. Photothermal deflection from aerosols is measured by using pulsed infrared laser light to heat up aerosols collected on the substrate. The deflection signal is obtained by measuring the position of a spot from a beam of light as it passes near
the heated surface. The results indicate non-rotating impaction as the preferred MOUDI impaction method. Energy-dependent photothermal measurement shows a linear relationship between signal and laser intensity, and no loss of signal with time is observed. The detection limit from the signal–mass
curve is 7.31 ng. For 30 minutes collection time and 30 L/min flow rate of the impactor, the limit of detection in terms of aerosol mass concentration is 0.65 μg m−3.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322-0300
Publication date: December 1, 2008
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