Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-945
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-945
19 Apr 2024
 | 19 Apr 2024

Evaluation of a reduced pressure chemical ion reactor utilizing adduct ionization for the detection of gaseous organic and inorganic species

Matthieu Riva, Veronika Pospisilova, Carla Frege, Sebastien Perrier, Priyanka Bansal, Spiro Jorga, Patrick Sturm, Joel Thornton, Urs Rohner, and Felipe Lopez-Hilfiker

Abstract. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and volatile inorganic compounds (VICs) provide critical information across many scientific fields including atmospheric chemistry, soil, and biological processes. Chemical ionization (CI) mass spectrometry has become a powerful tool for tracking these chemically complex and temporally variable compounds in a variety of laboratory and field environments. It is particularly powerful with time-of-flight mass spectrometers, which can measure hundreds of compounds in a fraction of a second and have enabled entirely new branches of VOC/VIC research in atmospheric and biological chemistry. To accurately describe each step of these chemical, physical, and biological processes, measurements across the entire range of gaseous products is crucial. Recently, chemically comprehensive gas-phase measurements have been performed using many CI mass spectrometers deployed in parallel, each utilizing a different ionization method to cover a broad range of compounds. Here we introduce the recently developed Vocus AIM (Adduct Ionization Mechanism) ion-molecule reactor (IMR), which samples trace vapors in air and ionizes them via chemical ionization at medium pressures. The Vocus AIM supports the use of many different reagent ions of positive and negative polarity and is largely independent of changes in the sample humidity. Within the present study, we present the performance and explore the capabilities of the Vocus AIM using various chemical ionization schemes, including Chloride (Cl), Bromide (Br), Iodide (I), Nitrate (NO3), Benzene cations (C6H6+), Acetone dimers ((C3H6O)2H+), and Ammonium (NH4+) reagent ions primarily in laboratory and flow tube experiments. We report the technical characteristics, operational principles, and compare its performance in terms of time response, humidity dependence, and sensitivity to that of previous chemical ionization approaches. This work demonstrates the benefits of the Vocus AIM reactor which provides a versatile platform to characterize VOCs and VICs in real time at trace concentrations.

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Matthieu Riva, Veronika Pospisilova, Carla Frege, Sebastien Perrier, Priyanka Bansal, Spiro Jorga, Patrick Sturm, Joel Thornton, Urs Rohner, and Felipe Lopez-Hilfiker

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-945', Anonymous Referee #2, 06 May 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-945', Anonymous Referee #1, 10 May 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-945', Anonymous Referee #3, 10 May 2024
Matthieu Riva, Veronika Pospisilova, Carla Frege, Sebastien Perrier, Priyanka Bansal, Spiro Jorga, Patrick Sturm, Joel Thornton, Urs Rohner, and Felipe Lopez-Hilfiker
Matthieu Riva, Veronika Pospisilova, Carla Frege, Sebastien Perrier, Priyanka Bansal, Spiro Jorga, Patrick Sturm, Joel Thornton, Urs Rohner, and Felipe Lopez-Hilfiker

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Short summary
We present a newly designed reduced-pressure chemical ionization reactor for the detection of gas phase organic and inorganic species. The system operates through the combined use of VUV ionization and photosensitizers to generate numerous adduct ionization schemes. As a result, it offers the ability to simultaneously measure a wide variety of organic and inorganic species in terms of compound volatility and functionality, while being largely independent of changes in the sample humidity.