TOA Carbon

The AQRC Quartz Carbon Lab is equipped with Sunset carbon analysis OC-EC instruments for Thermal/Optical Analysis (TOA). AQRC scientists and technicians analyze particulate matter collected on quartz-fiber filters for organic carbon, elemental carbon, carbonate carbon, and total carbon using a variety of applications such as: 

Analysis Protocols (User Configurable)


Optics Modes:

  • Reflectance (TOR, standard with IMPROVE A protocol)
  • Transmittance (TOT, standard with NIOSH protocol)

Data Reporting:

Basic analytical results:
  1. OC: Organic Carbon in µgC/cm^2 plus uncertainty
  2. EC: Elemental Carbon in µgC/cm^2 plus uncertainty
  3. CC: Carbonate Carbon in µgC/cm^2 plus uncertainty
  4. TC: Total Carbon in µgC/cm^2 plus uncertainty
Additional parameters
  1. OP: Pyrolized carbon by TOR or TOT method, in µgC/cm^2 plus uncertainty
  2. OC and EC sub-fraction peaks (OC1-OC4, EC1-EC6) in µgC/cm^2 plus uncertainty
  3. Optical EC in µgC/cm^2 based on optical absorbance

Learn more by referencing SOP 402: Standard Operating Procedure for Thermal/Optical Carbon Analysis for CSN Samples Using a Sunset Thermal/Optical-Reflectance/Transmittance Carbon Analyzer

Our Lab Group

Image: carbon lab staff pose for photo in lab environment.

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


OC-EC Aerosol Analyzers

Image: a black box instrument next to a laptop displaying graph readouts.


The Sunset Model 5 Lab OC-EC Aerosol Analyzer with flame ionization detector (FID) detection features excellent sensitivity with low instrument background, enhanced accuracy and precision, as well as superior temperature controlled dual laser system. More information can be found here.