CHARON PTR-TOFMS is an on-line analytical technique that characterizes the molecular composition of sub-µm organic particles on a chemical composition level at a one-minute time-resolution. The CHARON particle inlet consists of a honeycomb activated charcoal denuder that efficiently adsorbs organic gases and transmits particles, a high-pressure aerodynamic lens system that collimates and extracts sub-µm particles, and a thermo-desorber that evaporates non-refractory organic particulate matter at moderate temperatures of 100-160°C and reduced pressures of a few mbar.
These organics are subsequently analyzed as gas-phase analytes with one of IONICON’s high-resolution PTR-TOFMS instruments. By coupling the CHARON inlet to a PTR-TOFMS, the VOC inlet remains fully operational. An automated valve system allows for scheduled switching between gas- and particle-phase measurements as well as zeroing of the particle inlet.
CHARON has been developed for commercial release in close cooperation between the University of Innsbruck and IONICON. Only a few weeks after its launch, CHARON PTR-TOFMS won the 2017 innovation award by "The Analytical Scientist". In 2018 CHARON for PTR-TOFMS received another trophy: the LABORPRAXIS application award 2018.