Chemical characterization of secondary organic aerosol at a rural site in the southeastern US : insights from simultaneous high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) and FIGAERO chemical ionization mass spectrometer (CIMS) measurements

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Yunle Chen
  • Masayuki Takeuchi
  • Lu Xu
  • Manjula R. Canagaratna
  • Harold Stark
  • Karsten Baumann
  • Francesco Canonaco
  • André S. H. Prévôt
  • L. Gregory Huey
  • Rodney J. Weber
  • Nga L. Ng

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8421–8440
Number of pages20
Journal / PublicationAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number14
Online published17 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020



The formation and evolution of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) were investigated at Yorkville, GA, in late summer (mid-August to mid-October 2016). The organic aerosol (OA) composition was measured using two online mass spectrometry instruments, the high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) and the Filter Inlet for Gases and AEROsols coupled to a high-resolution time-of-flight iodide-adduct chemical ionization mass spectrometer (FIGAERO-CIMS). Through analysis of speciated organics data from FIGAERO-CIMS and factorization analysis of data obtained from both instruments, we observed notable SOA formation from isoprene and monoterpenes during both day and night. Specifically, in addition to isoprene epoxydiol (IEPOX) uptake, we identified isoprene SOA formation from non-IEPOX pathways and isoprene organic nitrate formation via photooxidation in the presence of NOx and nitrate radical oxidation. Monoterpenes were found to be the most important SOA precursors at night. We observed significant contributions from highly oxidized acid-like compounds to the aged OA factor from FIGAERO-CIMS. Taken together, our results showed that FIGAERO-CIMS measurements are highly complementary to the extensively used AMS factorization analysis, and together they provide more comprehensive insights into OA sources and composition.

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