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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 11 Feb 2019

Research article | 11 Feb 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Structural changes of CAST soot during a thermal-optical measurement protocol

Theresa Haller1, Christian Rentenberger1, Jannik C. Meyer1, Laura Felgitsch2, Hinrich Grothe2, and Regina Hitzenberger1 Theresa Haller et al.
  • 1University of Vienna, Faculty of Physics, Vienna, 1090, Austria
  • 2Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Materials Chemistry, Vienna, 1060, Austria

Abstract. Thermal-optical measurement techniques are widely used to classify carbonaceous material. The results of different methods for total carbon are comparable, but can vary by > 44 % for elemental carbon. One major cause of variation is the formation of pyrolyzed carbon during the heating process which occurs mainly in samples with a high amount of brown carbon (BrC). In this study the structural changes of two different CAST aerosol samples caused by the heating procedure in a thermal-optical instrument were investigated with UV-VIS and Raman spectroscopy, the Integrating Sphere technique and transmission electron microscopy. All analysis techniques showed significant structural changes for BrC rich samples at the highest temperature level (870 °C) in helium. The structure of the heated BrC-rich sample resembles the structure of an unheated BrC-poor sample. Heating the BrC rich sample to 870 °C increases the graphitic domain size within the material from 1.6 nm to 2 nm. Although the Raman spectra unambiguously show this increase of ordering only at the highest temperature step, UV-VIS and IS analyses show a continuous change of the optical properties also at lower temperatures. The sample with a negligible amount of BrC, however, did not show any significant structural changes during the whole heating procedure.

Theresa Haller et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Theresa Haller et al.
Theresa Haller et al.
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Short summary
In thermal-optical measurement techniques – widely used techniques to separate organic and elemental carbon – a filter sample is heated stepwise first in He, then in He+O2. Pyrolysis of organic material occurring during heating in He influences the results but is not fully understood. In this study, structural changes of carbonaceous material during a thermal-optical heating procedure are analyzed with Raman spectroscopy, TEM, UV-VIS and the integrating sphere method.
In thermal-optical measurement techniques – widely used techniques to separate organic and...