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Anal Chem. 2004 Apr 1;76(7):2138-43.

Fluorescence spectroscopy of complex aromatic mixtures.

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  • 1Istituto di Ricerche sulla Combustione-CNR, Piazzale Tecchio, 80-80125 Naples, Italy.


The contribution of two- to seven-ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and of larger aromatic structures contained in complex PAH-laden mixtures collected in flames was evaluated by fluorescence spectroscopy. A composition procedure of the fluorescence spectra of individual PAHs, analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) was applied for the evaluation of their contribution to the fluorescence spectra of PAH-laden mixtures. In this way, it was possible to put in evidence the contribution to the total fluorescence spectrum of high molecular weight aromatic species present in the PAH-laden mixtures and not detectable by GC/MS. Qualitative and quantitative interpretation of synchronous and conventional fluorescence spectra of PAH-laden mixtures formed in combustion processes was proposed. The composition procedure was showed to be reliable in the UV-visible region for samples dissolved in cyclohexane solutions, but failed in the UV region when the solvent contained heavy atoms, as in the case of dichloromethane. However, the heavy-atom solvent effect was not sufficient to explain the depression of the UV fluorescence signal. Energy transfer interaction between fluorene and other fluorescing PAHs was suggested to be also responsible for this effect on the basis of fluorescence studies performed on single PAHs and their mixtures in cyclohexane, methanol, and dichloromethane.

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