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Proceedings Paper

Chemical kinetic studies of atmospheric reactions using tunable diode laser spectroscopy
Author(s): Douglas R. Worsnop; David D. Nelson; Mark S. Zahniser
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Paper Abstract

IR absorption using tunable diode laser spectroscopy provides a sensitive and quantitative detection method for laboratory kinetic studies of atmospheric trace gases. Improvements in multipass cell design, real time signal processing, and computer controlled data acquisition and analysis have extended the applicability of the technique. We have developed several optical systems using off-axis resonator mirror designs which maximize path length while minimizing both the sample volume and the interference fringes inherent in conventional 'White' cells. Computerized signal processing using rapid scan (300 kHz), sweep integration with 100 percent duty cycle allows substantial noise reduction while retaining the advantages of using direct absorption for absolute absorbance measurements and simultaneous detection of multiple species. Peak heights and areas are determined by curve fitting using nonlinear least square methods. We have applied these techniques to measurements of: (1) heterogeneous uptake chemistry of atmospheric trace gases (HCl, H2O2, and N2O5) on aqueous and sulfuric acid droplets; (2) vapor pressure measurements of nitric acid and water over prototypical stratospheric aerosol (nitric acid trihydrate) surfaces; and (3) discharge flow tube kinetic studies of the HO2 radical using isotopic labeling for product channel and mechanistic analysis. Results from each of these areas demonstrate the versatility of TDL absorption spectroscopy for atmospheric chemistry applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 February 1993
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 1715, Optical Methods in Atmospheric Chemistry, (12 February 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.140212
Show Author Affiliations
Douglas R. Worsnop, Aerodyne Research, Inc. (United States)
David D. Nelson, Aerodyne Research, Inc. (United States)
Mark S. Zahniser, Aerodyne Research, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1715:
Optical Methods in Atmospheric Chemistry

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