Final Post: Summary for summer research experience

This summer, my research focused on two major parts: 1) chemical characterization of urban organic aerosols; 2) chemical analysis on composition of biomass burning aerosols.

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Week #8 Report

This week a lot of sample and data analysis is happening on ambient urban aerosols. The following pictures shows some data we found interesting and hopefully you would find them intriguing as well.

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Week #7 Report

During this week, I continued my research on the chemical changes of biomass burning aerosol due to photolysis. And for this week’s post, I would like to introduce a sample with interesting chemical changes that I investigated.The mass spectra and elemental analysis for the sample is shown in the following two pictures.

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Week 6: A shorter post during break

This week research continues besides enjoying the short break. I received a new set of mass spectrometric (MS) data, as is shown in the following figures. What is interested about these data is that they are collected online, rather than offline like the data I’ve analyzed in the past weeks. With “online”, we mean that the data is collected live on the field in real time. By contrast, offline data are obtained in laboratory with prepared samples collected in the field.

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Week #5 Progress

This week I used another method to acquire more chemical information of our samples. The method is called Infrared Spectroscopy (IR). It records the vibration modes of chemical bonds in the examined chemicals. By interpreting the IR spectrum for the sample, we are able to determine the kinds of functional groups exist in our sample. Moreover, by tracking the changes in IR spectra of one sample over a certain timescale, chemists are able to monitor the changes in chemical composition of the sample and speculate about the probable chemical reactions happened during the span of time.

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