On the accuracy of aerosol photoacoustic spectrometer calibrations using absorption by ozone

Davies, Nicholas W.; Cotterell, Michael I.; Fox, Cathryn; Szpek, Kate; Haywood, Jim M.; Langridge, Justin M.

In recent years, photoacoustic spectroscopy has emerged as an invaluable tool for the accurate measurement of light absorption by atmospheric aerosol. Photoacoustic instruments require calibration, which can be achieved by measuring the photoacoustic signal generated by known quantities of gaseous ozone. Recent work has questioned the validity of this approach at short visible wavelengths (404 nm), indicating systematic calibration errors of the order of a factor of 2. We revisit this result and test the validity of the ozone calibration method using a suite of multipass photoacoustic cells operating at wavelengths 405, 514 and 658 nm. Using aerosolised nigrosin with mobility-selected diameters in the range 250–425 nm, we demonstrate excellent agreement between measured and modelled ensemble absorption cross sections at all wavelengths, thus demonstrating the validity of the ozone-based calibration method for aerosol photoacoustic spectroscopy at visible wavelengths.

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Davies, Nicholas W. / Cotterell, Michael I. / Fox, Cathryn / et al: On the accuracy of aerosol photoacoustic spectrometer calibrations using absorption by ozone. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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