Development of an Aerosol Mass Spectrometry System for the Analysis of the Composition of Aerosol Particles in Real Time Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Spencer, Sandra
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Chemistry
  • Commercially available aerosol mass spectrometers are capable of sampling compounds from size selected aerosol particles without the requirement for collection of aerosol particles onto a surface. However, one primary disadvantage of the systems available commercially is the inability to gain structural information from analytes in complex samples. Fragmentation of analytes during ionization results in convolution of the observed mass spectrum and prevents identification of analytes. Separation of compounds by gas chromatography prior to ionization allows analytes to be identified but limits the utility of the mass spectrometer for analysis of the composition of aerosol particles in real time. Though one commercial design employs an ion source that does not induce significant fragmentation during ionization, the mass analyzer cannot be used to perform tandem mass spectrometry and thus the instrument is not useful for structural analysis of compounds from aerosol particles. The goal of the research presented in this dissertation is to develop an aerosol mass spectrometer for the evaluation of the structure of compounds in size-selected aerosol particles from components that are either commercially available or inexpensive and simple to custom build. Aerosol particle separations and analyte ionization are performed at atmospheric pressure to prevent preferential evaporation of the more volatile compounds from the particles in the high vacuum region of the mass spectrometer. To separate isomeric and isobaric analytes prior to mass analysis, ion mobility separations are used. Though the front end of this mass spectrometer can be retrofitted to couple with any mass analyzer, ion trap mass analyzers are used for these experiments to allow for a variety of unique capabilities including selective ion molecule reactions and tandem mass spectrometry.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Hicks, Leslie
  • Schoenfisch, Mark H.
  • Glish, Gary
  • Surratt, Jason
  • Johnson, Jeffrey
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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