Total-Reflection X-ray fluorescence analysis of elements in size-fractionated particulate matter sampled on polycarbonate filters - Composition and sources of aerosol particles in Goteborg, Sweden
Paper in proceeding, 2010

This is the first study applying the technique of cold plasma ashing on polycarbonate filters as a preparative step for subsequent elemental analysis of aerosol particles by Total-Reflection X-ray fluorescence. The procedure has been validated by analyzing blanks of the filter material, chemicals used as additives as well as certified standard reference material. The results showed that cold plasma ashing is superior to conventional digestion methods with regard to the ease of sample preparation and contamination. A PIXE cascade impactor was used to collect size-fractionated aerosol particles in 9 size classes ranging from 16 to 0.06 mu m aerodynamic diameter at an urban and a suburban site in Goteborg, Sweden. Filter segments loaded with the aerosol particles were cut out and fixed on Quartz carriers. After adding 10 ng of Ga as internal standard the samples were dried, digested by cold plasma ashing and analyzed by Total-Reflection X-ray fluorescence. The analysis of aerosol particles showed that elemental concentrations at both the urban and the suburban site in Goteborg were low compared to central Europe. More and concurrent sampling of size-fractionated particles is required to identify local sources of trace elements in the urban area of Goteborg. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Polycarbonate filters

Total reflection X-ray

Elemental analysis

Aerosol particles


Cold plasma ashing (CPA)


Annemarie Wagner

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Condensed Matter Physics

M. Mages

Leuphana University of Lüneburg


Spectrochimica Acta - Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy

0584-8547 (ISSN)

Vol. 65 6 471-477

Subject Categories

Chemical Sciences



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