Effects of pretreatment temperature on the analysis of size-fractionated aerosol particles using ToF-SIMS

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-271
Journal / PublicationSurface and Interface Analysis
Issue number5
Online published27 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


Size-fractionated aerosol particles were collected with a MOUDI 10-stage cascade impactor from an urban roadside place in a downtown area of Hong Kong. Fine aerosol particulate samples from stage 6 (aerodynamic particle diameter between 0.56 and 1 μm) and stage 9 (aerodynamic particle diameter between 0.10 and 0.18 μm) were pretreated at a chosen temperature, including −100°C, −50°C, 25°C, and 60°C, in a load lock chamber and then analyzed using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) at the same temperature (−100°C). Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to further analyze ToF-SIMS spectra of aerosol particles with different pretreatment temperatures from two selected stages. ToF-SIMS results showed that the intensities of aliphatic hydrocarbon ions such as C4H7+ and C4H9+ and amine ions such as C2H8N+ and C4H12N+ decreased with an increase of the pretreatment temperature under ultrahigh vacuum conditions. We have shown that analyses of this type of aerosol particles using ToF-SIMS should not be conducted at ambient temperature but at low temperature (eg, −50°C). In addition, we also developed a procedure that can be used to analyze aerosol particle samples under ultrahigh vacuum environment.

Research Area(s)

  • aerosol particles, PCA, surface chemical composition, temperature, ToF-SIMS