Hygroscopic Behavior of Substrate-Deposited Particles Studied by micro-FT-IR...

Liu, Y., Z. Yang, Y. Desyaterik, P. L. Gassman, H. Wang, and A. Laskin (2008), Hygroscopic Behavior of Substrate-Deposited Particles Studied by micro-FT-IR Spectroscopy and Complementary Methods of Particle Analysis, Anal. Chem., 80, 633-642, doi:10.1021/ac701638r.

The application of microscopic Fourier transform infrared (micro-FT-IR) spectroscopy combined with complementary methods of particle analysis is demonstrated here for investigations of phase transitions and hygroscopic growth of micron-sized particles. The approach utilizes the exposure of substrate-deposited, isolated particles to humidified nitrogen inside a sample cell followed by microFT-IR spectroscopy over a selected sample area. Phase transitions of NaCl, sea salt, NaNO3, and (NH4)2SO4 particles are monitored with this technique to evaluate its utility and applicability for particle hydration studies. The results are found in excellent agreement with literature data in terms of (a) reliable and reproducible detection of deliquescence and efflorescence phase transitions, (b) quantitative measurements of water-to-solute ratios in particles as a function of relative humidity, and (c) changes in the IR spectra resulting from phase transitions and changing relative humidity. Additional methods of particle analysis are employed to complement and assist in the interpretation of particle hygroscopicity data obtained from micro-FT-IR measurements. The analytical approach and the experimental setup presented here are relatively simple, inexpensive, readily available and therefore may be practical for hydration studies of environmental particles collected in both laboratory and field studies.

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Research Program: 
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)
Radiation Science Program (RSP)
Tropospheric Composition Program (TCP)