Monitoring Group Instruments

MTL Weighing Chamber

The AQRC Sample Handling Lab serving IMPROVE network has been equipped with a benchtop MTL environmentally controlled weighing chamber that provides compliant environment (Quality Assurance Guidance Document 2.12) for ambient air quality research. Air velocities, temperature, dew point, and airborne particle counts are controlled and below their regulatory thresholds.

RDI Sampling and Analysis

Rotating Drum Impactor (RDI) samplers collect size-segregated samples with variable time resolution. Multiple non-destructive analyses of RDI samples are available, including synchrotron-induced X-Ray Fluorescence (SXRF) that provides quantitative elemental data of elements.

Primary contacts: Yongjing Zhao and Nicholas Spada.


Since 1994, the researchers at Air Quality Research Center are measuring the light absorption by particles collected on filters for IMPROVE network. This measurement has been conducted on developed in house instrument called HIPS (Hybrid Integrating Plate and Sphere system) operating at a single wavelength using red light of 633 nm from a He(Ne) laser. 

Gravimetric Mass Sampling

Our laboratory is equipped with two Mettler Toledo XP-6 microbalances and one Mettler Toledo XP2U ultrabalance. The maximum weight capacity of the XP-6 is 6 g, although most of our filters weigh around 50 mg. The quoted readability of XP-6 balance is 0.001 mg. The Gravimetric Mass Sampling is completed in the Sample Handling Lab by AQRC staff. Samples are measured during the pre-processing and post-processing where they are then sent for analysis.

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. For questions on ordering analytical services contact Nicole Hyslop.

XRF Calibration Standards & Reference Materials

AQRC measures the concentrations of chemical elements in samples using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (XRF). We specialize in measuring airborne particulate matter sampled on filters but can also analyze liquid, solid or powder samples.

Our laboratory is equipped with five PANalytical Epsilon 5 XRF analyzers. Each analyzer can be programmed to use up to 15 secondary excitation targets, allowing the analysis to be customized to provide optimal sensitivity for the elements of interest with comprehensive coverage of the periodic table. For questions on ordering analytical services contact Nicole Hyslop.

Learn more about Epsilon products here.