Elemental analysis of single ambient aerosol particles using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy

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Analysing the composition of aerosol particles is essential when studying their health effects, sources and atmospheric impacts. In many environments the relevant particles occur in very low concentrations, meaning that their analysis requires efficient single particle techniques. Here we introduce a novel method to analyse the elemental composition of single aerosol particles sampled directly from the aerosol phase using size amplification aided aerosol charging (SAAC), linear electrodynamic quadrupole (LEQ) and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. We present results of the charging and focusing efficiencies of the SAAC and of the LEQ, and a proof-of-concept of the analysis method. The proof-of-concept test series was conducted with particle diameters down to 300 nm, sampled directly from the aerosol phase. The method shows unprecedented performance for spectroscopic submicron particle analysis from arbitrarily low concentrations and has exceptional potential for a portable analysis platform for various applications in the field of aerosol research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14657
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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