[Mielke2010] "Quantitative determination of biogenic volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere using proton-transfer reaction linear ion trap mass spectrometry.",
, vol. 82, no. 19: Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA., pp. 7952–7957, Oct, 2010.
Although oxidation of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) plays an important role in tropospheric ozone and secondary organic aerosol production, significant uncertainties remain in our understanding of the impacts of BVOCs on ozone, aerosols, and climate. To quantify BVOCs, the proton-transfer reaction linear ion trap (PTR-LIT) mass spectrometer was previously developed. The PTR-LIT represents an improvement over more traditional techniques (including the proton-transfer reaction mass spectrometer), providing the capability to directly quantify and differentiate isomeric compounds by MS/MS analysis, with better time resolution and minimal sample handling, compared to gas chromatography techniques. Herein, we present results from the first field deployment of the PTR-LIT. During the Program for Research on Oxidants: Photochemistry, Emissions and Transport (PROPHET) summer 2008 study in northern Michigan, the PTR-LIT successfully quantified isoprene, total monoterpenes, and isomeric isoprene oxidation products methyl vinyl ketone and methacrolein at sub-parts per billion (nmol/mol) levels in a complex forest atmosphere. The utility of the fast time response of the PTR-LIT was shown by the measurement of rapid changes in isoprene, methyl vinyl ketone, and methacrolein, concurrent with changing ozone mole fractions. Overall, the PTR-LIT was shown to be a viable field instrument with the necessary sensitivity, selectivity, and time response to provide detailed measurements of BVOC mole fractions in complex atmospheric samples, at trace levels.