RDI sampler and XRF analysis

Rotating Drum Impactor (RDI) samplers collect size-segregated aerosols on 8 stages with 0.4 – 4.8 hour time resolution.  Analysis of RDI samples using X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) technology provides quantitative elemental data of 28 elements


Since 1994, the researchers at Air Quality Research Center are measuring the light absorption by particles collected on filters for IMPROVE network. This measurement has been conducted on developed in house instrument called HIPS (Hybrid Integrating Plate and Sphere system) operating at a single wavelength using red light of 633 nm from a He(Ne) laser. 

Gravimetric Mass Sampling

Our laboratory is equipped with two Mettler Toledo XP-6 microbalances and one Mettler Toledo XP2U ultrabalance. The maximum weight capacity of the XP-6 is 6 g, although most of our filters weigh around 50 mg. The quoted readability of XP-6 balance is 0.001 mg. The Gravimetric Mass Sampling is completed in the Sample Handling Lab by AQRC staff. Samples are measured during the pre-processing and post-processing where they are then sent for analysis.


Our Equipment

TOA Carbon

The AQRC Quartz Carbon Lab is equipped with the best analyzers which the lab group uses for Thermal/Optical Carbon Analysis of CSN Samples. Our lab group, pictured below, uses this Thermal-Optical method to determine the organic carbon, elemental carbon, carbonate carbon, and total carbon in particulate matter collected on quartz-fiber filters. 

Our Lab Group

Left to Right: Xiaolu Zhang, Jamie Lagman, Priscilla Prasad, Maria G. Navarro, Nancy Murillo


Additional Lab Instruments

Other AQRC Lab Instruments
  • TSI 3080 Electrostatic Classifier (2)
  • TSI 3081 Long Column DMA (2)
  • TSI 3085 Nano DMA (2)
  • TSI 3025 CPC (3)
  • TSI 8520 DustTrak (2)
  • TSI 3079 Atomizer Aerosol Generator
  • Mini RAE 3000 PID
  • API Model 100A Fluorescent SO2 analyzer
  • Western Research Model 721-AT SO2 analyzer
  • Counterflow Diffusion Denuders (5)
  • TSI 3475 Condensation Monodisperse Aerosol Generator
  • Thermo NOy analyzer (2)
  • Thermo SO4 analyzer (3)
  • CargoMate Traile

XRF Calibration Standards & Reference Materials


The AQRC measures the concentrations of chemical elements in samples using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (XRF). We specialize in measuring airborne particulate matter sampled on filters but can also analyze liquid, solid or powder samples.

Our laboratory is equipped with four PANalytical Epsilon 5 XRF analyzers. Each analyzer can be programmed to use up to 15 secondary excitation targets, allowing the analysis to be customized to provide optimal sensitivity for the elements of interest with comprehensive coverage of the periodic table.