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Characterization of Atmospheric Particles by Electron Probe X-Ray Microanalysis

Bálint Alföldy, Jorge Trincavelli,*† Szabina Török, Gustavo Castellano*

KFKI Atomic Energy Research Institute, Budapest, Hungary; *Facultad de Matemática, Astronomía y Física, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba; †Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de la República, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Summary: Microchemical glass standards were used to validate a quantitation method based on peak-to-background (P/B) ratios from electron probe x-ray microanalysis spectra. This standardless method was applied to the determination of concentrations of individual particles from M* or L* lines, as well as from K* lines. The algorithm was tested on particulate glass samples for diameters ranging from 1 to 20 µm. The determined concentrations did not depend on particle size. The certified values for elements were well matched, except for Na, which may migrate under electron bombardment. Finally, classification of qualitative results obtained for aerosol particles was completed by the P/B quantitative method.

Key words: environmental aerosols, electron microprobe, spectral deconvolution, standardless analysis

PACS: 29.30.Kv, 32.30.Rj, 32.70.Fw, 07.78.+s, 89.60.+x

This work was supported by Secretaría para la Tecnología, la Ciencia y la Innovación Productiva (STCIP) of Argentina and the National Committee for Technological Development (OMFB) of Hungary.