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Simultaneous Measurement of Nitric Oxide (NO) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) in Simulated Automobile Exhaust Using Medium Pressure IonizationMass Spectrometry

Volume 60, Number 2 (Feb. 2006) Page 208-216

Short, Luke Chandler; Frey, Rüdiger; Benter, Thorsten


In previous papers we have demonstrated two different, two-color resonance-enhanced multiphoton ionization (REMPI) schemes for the simultaneous measurement of trace amounts (ppbV to pptV) of nitrogen monoxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The goal of this study is to provide a laser ionization-mass spectrometric scheme capable of measuring ppmV to ppthV concentrations of NO and NO2 within vehicle exhaust containing up to ppthV of aromatic hydrocarbons and a time frame of seconds. Two ionization schemes are used here to measure NO and NO2 in simulated automobile exhaust with three different sources. REMPI Scheme 1 uses broad-bandwidth light and an effusive source to measure NO (limit of detection (LOD) 300 ppmV), NO2 (LOD 100 ppmV), and aromatic hydrocarbons (via photoionization) along with fragments (via electron impact). REMPI Scheme 2 uses narrow-bandwidth light and a medium pressure laser ionization (MPLI) source to measure NO (LOD 60 ppmV), NO2 (LOD 3 ppmV), and fragments (via electron impact). The LOD is determined using 10-second sampling times. A newly developed delayed-ion extraction technique for MPLI is then applied to REMPI Scheme 2, dramatically reducing the electron impact signal, so that only NO and NO2 are observed. We conclude that Scheme 2 with delayed-electron extraction is best suited for measuring in situ NO and NO2 within engine exhaust.