Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://doi.org/10.25358/openscience-2032
Authors: Flores, Jorge Michel
Title: Laboratory study on the optical properties of absorbing atmospheric aerosols and field applications
Online publication date: 23-May-2012
Language: english
Abstract: The interaction between aerosols and sun light plays an important role in the radiative balance of Earth’s atmosphere. This interaction is obtained by measuring the removal (extinction), redistribution (scattering), and transformation into heat (absorption) of light by the aerosols; i.e. their optical properties. Knowledge of these properties is crucial for our understanding of the atmospheric system. \r\n Light absorption by aerosols is a major contributor to the direct and indirect effects on our climate system, and an accurate and sensitive measurement method is crucial to further our understanding. A homebuilt photoacoustic sensor (PAS), measuring at a 532nm wavelength, was fully characterized and its functionality validated for measurements of absorbing aerosols. The optical absorption cross-sections of absorbing polystyrene latex spheres, to be used as a standard for aerosol absorption measurements, were measured and compared to literature values. Additionally, a calibration method using absorbing aerosol of known complex refractive index was presented.\r\n A new approach to retrieve the effective broadband refractive indices (mbroad,eff) of aerosol particles by a white light aerosol spectrometer (WELAS) optical particle counter (OPC) was achieved. Using a tandem differential mobility analyzer (DMA)-OPC system, the nbroad,eff are obtained for both laboratory and field applications. This method was tested in the laboratory using substances with a wide range of optical properties and it was used in ambient measurements to retrieve the nbroad,eff of biomass burning aerosols in a nationwide burning event in Israel. The retrieved effective broadband refractive indices for laboratory generated scattering aerosols were: ammonium sulfate (AS), glutaric acid (GA), and sodium chloride, all within 4% of literature values. For absorbing substances, nigrosine and various mixtures of nigrosine with AS and GA were measured, as well as a lightly absorbing substance, Suwannee river fulvic acid (SRFA). For the ambient measurements, the calibration curves generated from this method were to follow the optical evolution of biomass burning (BB) aerosols. A decrease in the overall aerosol absorption and scattering for aged aerosols during the day after the fires compared to the smoldering phase of the fires was found. \r\n The connection between light extinction of aerosols, their chemical composition and hygroscopicity for particles with different degrees of absorption was studied. The extinction cross-section (σext) at 532nm for different mobility diameters was measured at 80% and 90% relative humidity (RH), and at an RH<10%. The ratio of the humidified aerosols to the dry ones, fRHext(%RH,Dry), is presented. For purely scattering aerosols, fRHext(%RH,Dry) is inversely proportional with size; this dependence was suppressed for lightly absorbing ones. In addition, the validity of the mixing rules for water soluble absorbing aerosols is explored. The difference between the derived and calculated real parts of the complex RIs were less than 5.3% for all substances, wavelengths, and RHs. The obtained imaginary parts for the retrieved and calculated RIs were in good agreement with each other, and well within the measurement errors of retrieval from pulsed CRD spectroscopy measurements. Finally, a core-shell structure model is also used to explore the differences between the models, for substances with low growth factors, under these hydration conditions. It was found that at 80% RH and for size parameters less than 2.5, there is less than a 5 % difference between the extinction efficiencies calculated with both models. This difference is within measurement errors; hence, there is no significant difference between the models in this case. However, for greater size parameters the difference can be up to 10%. For 90% RH the differences below a size parameter of 2.5 were up to 7%.\r\n Finally, the fully characterized PAS together with a cavity ring down spectrometer (CRD), were used to study the optical properties of soot and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) during the SOOT-11 project in the AIDA chamber in Karlsruhe, Germany. The fresh fractal-like soot particles were allowed to coagulate for 28 hours before stepwise coating them with SOA. The single scattering albedo for fresh fractal-like soot was measured to be 0.2 (±0.03), and after allowing the soot to coagulate for 28 hours and coating it with SOA, it increased to 0.71(±0.01). An absorption enhancement of the coated soot of up to 1.71 (±0.03) times from the non-coated coagulated soot was directly measured with the PAS. Monodisperse measurements of SOA and soot coated with SOA were performed to derive the complex refractive index (m) of both aerosols. A complex refractive index of m = 1.471(±0.008) + i0.0(±0.002) for the SOA-αO3 was retrieved. For the compact coagulated soot a preliminary complex refractive index of m = 2.04(+0.21/-0.14) + i0.34(+0.18/-0.06) with 10nm(+4/-6) coating thickness was retrieved.\r\n These detail properties can be use by modelers to decrease uncertainties in assessing climatic impacts of the different species and to improve weather forecasting.\r\n
The interaction between aerosols and sun light plays an important role in the radiative balance of Earth’s atmosphere. This interaction is obtained by measuring the removal (extinction), redistribution (scattering), and transformation into heat (absorption) of light by the aerosols; i.e. their optical properties. Knowledge of these properties is crucial for our understanding of the atmospheric system. \r\n Light absorption by aerosols is a major contributor to the direct and indirect effects on our climate system, and an accurate and sensitive measurement method is crucial to further our understanding. A homebuilt photoacoustic sensor (PAS), measuring at a 532nm wavelength, was fully characterized and its functionality validated for measurements of absorbing aerosols. The optical absorption cross-sections of absorbing polystyrene latex spheres, to be used as a standard for aerosol absorption measurements, were measured and compared to literature values. Additionally, a calibration method using absorbing aerosol of known complex refractive index was presented.\r\n A new approach to retrieve the effective broadband refractive indices (mbroad,eff) of aerosol particles by a white light aerosol spectrometer (WELAS) optical particle counter (OPC) was achieved. Using a tandem differential mobility analyzer (DMA)-OPC system, the nbroad,eff are obtained for both laboratory and field applications. This method was tested in the laboratory using substances with a wide range of optical properties and it was used in ambient measurements to retrieve the nbroad,eff of biomass burning aerosols in a nationwide burning event in Israel. The retrieved effective broadband refractive indices for laboratory generated scattering aerosols were: ammonium sulfate (AS), glutaric acid (GA), and sodium chloride, all within 4% of literature values. For absorbing substances, nigrosine and various mixtures of nigrosine with AS and GA were measured, as well as a lightly absorbing substance, Suwannee river fulvic acid (SRFA). For the ambient measurements, the calibration curves generated from this method were to follow the optical evolution of biomass burning (BB) aerosols. A decrease in the overall aerosol absorption and scattering for aged aerosols during the day after the fires compared to the smoldering phase of the fires was found. \r\n The connection between light extinction of aerosols, their chemical composition and hygroscopicity for particles with different degrees of absorption was studied. The extinction cross-section (σext) at 532nm for different mobility diameters was measured at 80% and 90% relative humidity (RH), and at an RH<10%. The ratio of the humidified aerosols to the dry ones, fRHext(%RH,Dry), is presented. For purely scattering aerosols, fRHext(%RH,Dry) is inversely proportional with size; this dependence was suppressed for lightly absorbing ones. In addition, the validity of the mixing rules for water soluble absorbing aerosols is explored. The difference between the derived and calculated real parts of the complex RIs were less than 5.3% for all substances, wavelengths, and RHs. The obtained imaginary parts for the retrieved and calculated RIs were in good agreement with each other, and well within the measurement errors of retrieval from pulsed CRD spectroscopy measurements. Finally, a core-shell structure model is also used to explore the differences between the models, for substances with low growth factors, under these hydration conditions. It was found that at 80% RH and for size parameters less than 2.5, there is less than a 5 % difference between the extinction efficiencies calculated with both models. This difference is within measurement errors; hence, there is no significant difference between the models in this case. However, for greater size parameters the difference can be up to 10%. For 90% RH the differences below a size parameter of 2.5 were up to 7%.\r\n Finally, the fully characterized PAS together with a cavity ring down spectrometer (CRD), were used to study the optical properties of soot and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) during the SOOT-11 project in the AIDA chamber in Karlsruhe, Germany. The fresh fractal-like soot particles were allowed to coagulate for 28 hours before stepwise coating them with SOA. The single scattering albedo for fresh fractal-like soot was measured to be 0.2 (±0.03), and after allowing the soot to coagulate for 28 hours and coating it with SOA, it increased to 0.71(±0.01). An absorption enhancement of the coated soot of up to 1.71 (±0.03) times from the non-coated coagulated soot was directly measured with the PAS. Monodisperse measurements of SOA and soot coated with SOA were performed to derive the complex refractive index (m) of both aerosols. A complex refractive index of m = 1.471(±0.008) + i0.0(±0.002) for the SOA-αO3 was retrieved. For the compact coagulated soot a preliminary complex refractive index of m = 2.04(+0.21/-0.14) + i0.34(+0.18/-0.06) with 10nm(+4/-6) coating thickness was retrieved.\r\n These detail properties can be use by modelers to decrease uncertainties in assessing climatic impacts of the different species and to improve weather forecasting.\r\n
DDC: 530 Physik
530 Physics
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 08 Physik, Mathematik u. Informatik
Place: Mainz
DOI: http://doi.org/10.25358/openscience-2032
Version: Original work
Publication type: Dissertation
License: in Copyright
Information on rights of use: https://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Extent: 115 S.
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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