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Chemical Speciation of Individual Airborne Particles by the Combined Use of Quantitative Energy-Dispersive Electron Probe X-ray Microanalysis and Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform-Infrared Imaging Techniques

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journal contribution
posted on 01.10.2010, 00:00 by Young-Chul Song, JiYeon Ryu, Md Abdul Malek, Hae-Jin Jung, Chul-Un Ro
In our previous work, it was demonstrated that the combined use of attenuated total reflectance (ATR) FT-IR imaging and quantitative energy-dispersive electron probe X-ray microanalysis (ED-EPMA), named low-Z particle EPMA, had the potential for characterization of individual aerosol particles. Additionally, the speciation of individual mineral particles was performed on a single particle level by the combined use of the two techniques, demonstrating that simultaneous use of the two single particle analytical techniques is powerful for the detailed characterization of externally heterogeneous mineral particle samples and has great potential for characterization of atmospheric mineral dust aerosols. These single particle analytical techniques provide complementary information on the physicochemical characteristics of the same individual particles, such as low-Z particle EPMA on morphology and elemental concentrations and the ATR-FT-IR imaging on molecular species, crystal structures, functional groups, and physical states. In this work, this analytical methodology was applied to characterize an atmospheric aerosol sample collected in Incheon, Korea. Overall, 118 individual particles were observed to be primarily NaNO3-containing, Ca- and/or Mg-containing, silicate, and carbonaceous particles, although internal mixing states of the individual particles proved complicated. This work demonstrates that more detailed physiochemical properties of individual airborne particles can be obtained using this approach than when either the low-Z particle EPMA or ATR-FT-IR imaging technique is used alone.