TOA Carbon

The AQRC Quartz Carbon Lab is equipped with the top-notch OCEC instruments for Thermal/Optical Analysis (TOA). Our scientists and technicians can analyze particulate matters collected on quartz-fiber filters for organic carbon, elemental carbon, carbonate carbon, and total carbon using a variety of applications, including: 

Analysis Protocols (User Configurabe)


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 our 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

Photo of Faculty in Lab

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


Our OCEC Aerosol Analyzers



The Sunset Model 5 Lab OCEC 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.