TAG - Thermal Desorption Aerosol Gas Chromatography System

The TAG-AMS project is a collaborative development between ARI, Professor Allen Goldstein at UC Berkley and Dr. Susanne Hering at Aerosol Dynamics, Inc.

  • TAG system automates online sampling and analysis of condensed phase (e.g. aerosols) organic materials and eliminates the laborious sample collection, transportation, storage, and preparation process associated with filter based measurements.
  • Equipped with in-situ derivatization setup which enables detection of polar compounds (e.g. alcohols, organic acids, amines) and minimizes thermal decomposition.
  • Automated liquid injection system for internal and external standard calibrations.
  • Available in two configurations:
    • Stand-alone version for standard GC-MS systems (eg. Agilent’s 6890N/5975 MSD or equivalent).
    • Mini GC version compatible with Tofwerk EI-HTOF for high resolution mass spectrometry and analysis.
  • Control software for Windows PC – configures TAG controller for automated sequence operation.

The TAG-AMS combines the advantages of the Aerodyne High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) (Canagaratna et al, Mass. Spec. Rev., 26, 185-222, 2007) measuring size distribution and mass loading for ambient aerosol and the Thermal desorption Aerosol Gas Chromatograph (TAG) (Williams et al., AST, 40, 627-638, 2006) instrument providing hourly measurements of speciated organic compounds.

The combined TAG-AMS instrument will be designed to share the same electron impact ion source and HR-Tof-MS for analysis of the atmospheric aerosol constituents.  While atmospheric aerosols are measured using the HR-ToF-AMS to provide mass spectral analysis of the total organic aerosol, aerosol is collected simultaneously in the integrated collection and thermal desorption (CTD) cell of the TAG instrument.  The collected aerosol sample is subsequently desorbed from the CTD cell, chromatographically separated, and introduced into the AMS electron impact ionization region for analysis.  The combination of hourly time resolved TAG measurements with the complementary AMS measurements provides mass spectral analysis of the total organic aerosol (AMS) and concurrent detailed molecular level analysis (TAG).



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