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The Analysis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) by LC/MS/MS Using ,,, an Atmospheric Pressure Photoionization Source

The atmospheric pressure photoionization source, PhotoSpray ion source (Robb, Covey and Bruins1) uses photons to ionize large quantities of a dopant molecule added along with the vaporized mobile phase. Analyte molecules are efficiently ionized through secondary reactions initiated by the charged dopant. This new technique was used to develop an analytical method for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), comparing the difference under reverse phase and normal phase chromatographic conditions. A total of 16 PAHs were analysed including the determination of unknown quantities in atmospheric samples from both rural and urban areas.

Introduction

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of over 100 different chemicals, typically formed during incomplete combustion, which are present in a variety of environmental matrices. Airborne PAHs, usually found in aerosol particles, are implicated in heterogeneous atmospheric processing and as important indicators of gas-phase atmospheric processes. Certain carcinogenic PAHs may be carried by ultrafine particles in ambient air into the lungs, and are often the targets of rigorous environmental monitoring. Currently, environmental PAHs are most commonly analysed by HPLC or GC/EI-MS; techniques which require long, high-resolution separations, and complicated MS methods. Atmospheric pressure photoionization is a new technique that uses the energy of photons to generate ions from the vaporized eluent of an LC. This study compares the analysis of PAHs by LC/MS/MS using both reverse phase and normal phase chromatographic conditions.

Materials and methods

A 20 ppm stock standard solution containing 16 common PAHs (see Figure 1). Under optimized LC/MS/MS conditions for both reversed phase and normal phase chromatographic
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