Title: Detecting H+ in ultrafine ambient aerosol using iron nano-film detectors and scanning probe microscopy.
Authors: Cohen, B S; Li, W; Xiong, J Q; Lippmann, M
Published In Appl Occup Environ Hyg, (2000 Jan)
Abstract: Recent epidemiological evidence strongly suggests that ambient-particle-associated acidity is more closely correlated with total mortality and hospital admissions for respiratory disease than indices of total particulate mass. In addition, evidence is accumulating to support the hypothesis that the number of ultrafine (d < or = 200 nm) acid particles, rather than ambient mass, is an important determining factor affecting lung injury. Both outdoor and indoor air environments are dominated by nanometer-sized particles. However, no data are currently available on the size distribution or number concentration of acidic ambient ultrafine particles largely because there are no suitable methods for measuring these important quantities. We have developed a method to accomplish these measurements based on the use of iron nano-films for detection of acid droplets. Detectors were prepared by vapor deposition of iron onto 12-mm-diameter glass cover slips. The detectors develop reaction sites when exposed to H2SO4 or NH4HSO4 particles. Exposures to non-acidic particle (NaCl and [(NH4)]2SO4) result in no detectable surface deformations. The nano-films are examined with scanning probe microscopy (SPM) for the enumeration of reaction sites. Until recently, direct visualization of individual objects smaller than 200 nm has been possible only with electron microscopy. The advancement of SPM provides the opportunity to examine the detector surface features with high quality three dimensional imaging.
PubMed ID: 10660992
MeSH Terms: Aerosols/analysis*; Air Pollution/analysis*; Environmental Monitoring/methods; Humans; Hydrogen-Ion Concentration; Iron; Microscopy, Electron, Scanning/methods; Particle Size