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Development of Infrared Photothermal Deflection Spectroscopy (Mirage Effect) for Analysis of Condensed-Phase Aerosols Collected in a Micro-Orifice Uniform Deposit Impactor

Volume 62, Number 12 (Dec. 2008) Page 1336-1343

Dada, Oluwatosin O.; Bialkowski, Stephen E.


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.