Standard Article

Atmospheric Aerosols, Analysis of

Atomic Spectroscopy

  1. Patricia Smichowski,
  2. Darío R. Gómez

Published Online: 17 DEC 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a9338

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Smichowski, P. and Gómez, D. R. 2012. Atmospheric Aerosols, Analysis of. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 DEC 2012


The increasing concern about air pollution and climate change has attracted the interest of researchers for assessing the presence, as well as the health and environmental impacts, of a diversity of atmospheric pollutants including airborne particles. Primary particles are introduced into the atmosphere through a variety of processes including natural and anthropogenic sources, while secondary particles are formed in the atmosphere by physical and chemical transformations. Airborne particles consist of a mixture of materials generally complex, which can contain organic and inorganic compounds and biological material. The determination of the chemical composition of aerosols is a challenging task for analytical chemists. Their contribution for understanding the role that different chemical components play in the source identification, transport, health impacts, and radiative properties of airborne particulate matter (APM) has been, and still is, crucial for the advance of atmospheric chemistry. For obtaining reliable results, the expertise for selecting adequate, sensitive, and selective analytical techniques for the determination of ions, metals, metalloids, carbonaceous, and organic compounds is of prime importance. This article focuses on the main analytical techniques employed for the determination of inorganic components of atmospheric aerosols.