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Methods of analyzing composition of aerosol particles

United States Patent

February 12, 2013
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
An aerosol particle analyzer includes a laser ablation chamber, a gas-filled conduit, and a mass spectrometer. The laser ablation chamber can be operated at a low pressure, which can be from 0.1 mTorr to 30 mTorr. The ablated ions are transferred into a gas-filled conduit. The gas-filled conduit reduces the electrical charge and the speed of ablated ions as they collide and mix with buffer gases in the gas-filled conduit. Preferably, the gas filled-conduit includes an electromagnetic multipole structure that collimates the nascent ions into a beam, which is guided into the mass spectrometer. Because the gas-filled conduit allows storage of vast quantities of the ions from the ablated particles, the ions from a single ablated particle can be analyzed multiple times and by a variety of techniques to supply statistically meaningful analysis of composition and isotope ratios.
Reilly; Peter T. A. (Knoxville, TN)
UT-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge, TN)
13/ 561,365
July 30, 2012
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT This invention was made with United States government support under Prime Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States government has certain rights in this invention.