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  1. Abstract. Extractive electrospray ionization (EESI) has been a well-knowntechnique for high-throughput online molecular characterization of chemicalreaction products and intermediates, detection of native biomolecules, invivo metabolomics, and environmental monitoring with negligible thermal andionization-induced fragmentation for over two decades. However, the EESIextraction mechanism remains uncertain. Prior studies disagree on whetherparticles between 20 and 400 nm diameter are fully extracted or if theextraction is limited to the surface layer. Here, we examined the analyteextraction mechanism by assessing the influence of particle size and coatingthickness on the detection of the molecules therein. We find that particlesare extracted fully: organics-coated NH4NO3 particles with afixed core volume (156 and 226 nm in diameter without coating) showedconstant EESI signals for NH4NO3 independent of the shell coatingthickness, while the signals of the secondary organic molecules comprisingthe shell varied proportionally to the shell volume. We also found that theEESI sensitivity exhibited a strong size dependence, with an increase insensitivity by 1–3 orders of magnitude as particle size decreasedfrom 300 to 30 nm. This dependence varied with the electrospray (ES)droplet size, the particle size and the residence time for coagulation in theEESI inlet, suggesting that the EESI sensitivity was influenced by thecoagulation coefficient between particles and ES droplets. Overall, ourresults indicate that, inmore »the EESI, particles are fully extracted by the ESdroplets regardless of the chemical composition, when they are collected bythe ES droplets. However, their coalescence is not complete and dependsstrongly on their size. This size dependence is especially relevant whenEESI is used to probe size-varying particles as is the case in aerosolformation and growth studies with size ranges below 100 nm.« less
  2. Aerosol particles negatively affect human health while also having climatic relevance due to, for example, their ability to act as cloud condensation nuclei. Ultrafine particles (diameter D p < 100 nm) typically comprise the largest fraction of the total number concentration, however, their chemical characterization is difficult because of their low mass. Using an extractive electrospray time-of-flight mass spectrometer (EESI-TOF), we characterize the molecular composition of freshly nucleated particles from naphthalene and β-caryophyllene oxidation products at the CLOUD chamber at CERN. We perform a detailed intercomparison of the organic aerosol chemical composition measured by the EESI-TOF and an iodide adduct chemical ionization mass spectrometer equipped with a filter inlet for gases and aerosols (FIGAERO-I-CIMS). We also use an aerosol growth model based on the condensation of organic vapors to show that the chemical composition measured by the EESI-TOF is consistent with the expected condensed oxidation products. This agreement could be further improved by constraining the EESI-TOF compound-specific sensitivity or considering condensed-phase processes. Our results show that the EESI-TOF can obtain the chemical composition of particles as small as 20 nm in diameter with mass loadings as low as hundreds of ng m −3 in real time. This was until nowmore »difficult to achieve, as other online instruments are often limited by size cutoffs, ionization/thermal fragmentation and/or semi-continuous sampling. Using real-time simultaneous gas- and particle-phase data, we discuss the condensation of naphthalene oxidation products on a molecular level.« less