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Application of proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry for the monitoring and measurement of volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date2003
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
Number of pages7
Original languageEnglish


Proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) is a new and emerging technique for the measurement and monitoring of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at low concentrations in gaseous samples in more-or-less real time. Utilising chemical ionisation, it combines the desirable attributes of high sensitivity and short integration times with good precision and accuracy. Recently it has been exploited in applications related to atmospheric science. Here, the principles of operation of the PTR-MS are described, its advantages and disadvantages discussed, its inherent uncertainties highlighted, some of its uses in atmospheric sciences reviewed, and some suggestions made on its future application to atmospheric chemistry.