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Near-Real Time Measurement of Carbonaceous Aerosol Using Microplasma Spectroscopy: Application to Measurement of Carbon Nanomaterials
  • Published Date:
    Aug 18 2016
  • Source:
    Aerosol Sci Technol. 50(11):1155-1166.
Filetype[PDF-1.47 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Aerosol Sci Technol
  • Description:
    A sensitive, field-portable microplasma spectroscopy method has been developed for real-time measurement of carbon nanomaterials. The method involves microconcentration of aerosol on a microelectrode tip for subsequent analysis for atomic carbon using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) or spark emission spectroscopy (SES). The spark-induced microplasma was characterized by measuring the excitation temperature (15,000 - 35,000 K), electron density (1.0 × 10(17) - 2.2 × 10(17) cm(-3)), and spectral responses as functions of time and interelectrode distance. The system was calibrated and detection limits were determined for total atomic carbon (TAC) using a carbon emission line at 247.856 nm (C I) for various carbonaceous materials including sucrose, EDTA, caffeine, sodium carbonate, carbon black, and carbon nanotubes. The limit of detection for total atomic carbon was 1.61 ng, equivalent to 238 ng m(-3) when sampling at 1.5 L min(-1) for 5 min. To improve the selectivity for carbon nanomaterials, which consist of elemental carbon (EC), the cathode was heated to 300 °C to reduce the contribution of organic carbon to the total atomic carbon. Measurements of carbon nanotube aerosol at elevated electrode temperature showed improved selectivity to elemental carbon and compared well with the measurements from thermal optical method (NIOSH Method 5040). The study shows that the SES method to be an excellent candidate for development as a low-cost, hand-portable, real-time instrument for measurement of carbonaceous aerosols and nanomaterials.
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