Kei Sato This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Sathiyamurthi Ramasamy1, Satoshi Inomata1, Yu Morino1, Toshihide Hikida2, Akio Shimono2 

National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
2 Shoreline Science Research, Inc., Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0045, Japan

Received: August 9, 2022
Revised: September 4, 2022
Accepted: September 4, 2022

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Sato, K., Ramasamy, S., Inomata, S., Morino, Y., Hikida, T., Shimono, A. (2022). Thermal-Desorption Proton-Transfer-Reaction Quadruple-Interface Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry: Online Analysis of Organic Aerosol Using Single-Component Particles. Aerosol Air Qual. Res.


  • Organic aerosols analyzed by thermal desorption instrument combined with PTR-MS.
  • Single-component aerosols of dicarboxylic acids, dialdehyde, and polyol analyzed.
  • Signal responses to temperature, concentration, and flow rate were investigated.
  • Dehydration occurred for protonated molecule of dicarboxylic acids and polyol.


A proton transfer reaction-quadrupole interface time-of-flight mass spectrometer was combined with a hand-made thermal desorption (TD) instrument for real-time analysis of organic aerosol particles. Size-selected single-component organic particles were generated using a nebulizer combined with a differential mobility analyzer. We tested perfluoroalkoxy alkene (PFA) and copper tubing for the TD instrument. Higher signal intensities were observed when using PFA tubing, suggesting that wall deposition loss of vaporized semi-volatile organic compounds was suppressed when PFA tubing was used. Protonated molecules, [M + H]+, had the highest intensity in the mass spectrum of dialdehyde particles (i.e., terephthaldialdehyde), whereas ions formed by dehydration from protonated molecules, [M + H − H2O]+, had the highest intensities in the mass spectra of carboxylic acid particles (i.e., adipic, phthalic, and cis-pinonic acids) and alcohol particles (i.e., meso-erythritol). The mass spectra obtained for organic aerosol markers will be useful to interpret mass spectra measured for organic aerosol particles by TD-proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometry.

Keywords: Condensable particles, Secondary organic aerosol, Semi-volatile organic compound, Mass spectrometry, Chemical composition analysis

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