Articles | Volume 13, issue 12
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 13, 7097–7111, 2020
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 13, 7097–7111, 2020

Research article 23 Dec 2020

Research article | 23 Dec 2020

A single-beam photothermal interferometer for in situ measurements of aerosol light absorption

Bradley Visser et al.

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Cited articles

Arnott, W. P., Moosmüller, H., and Walker, J. W.: Nitrogen dioxide and kerosene-flame soot calibration of photoacoustic instruments for measurements of light absorption by aerosols, Rev. Sci. Instrum., 71, 4545–4552,, 2000. 
Arnott, W. P., Hamasha, K., Moosmüller, H., Sheridan, P. J., and Ogren, J. A.: Towards aerosol light-absorption measurements with a 7-wavelength Aethalometer: Evaluation with a photoacoustic instrument and 3-wavelength Nephelometer, Aerosol Sci. Tech., 39, 17–29,, 2005. 
Backman, J., Schmeisser, L., Virkkula, A., Ogren, J. A., Asmi, E., Starkweather, S., Sharma, S., Eleftheriadis, K., Uttal, T., Jefferson, A., Bergin, M., Makshtas, A., Tunved, P., and Fiebig, M.: On Aethalometer measurement uncertainties and an instrument correction factor for the Arctic, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 10, 5039–5062,, 2017. 
Bond, T. C., Anderson, T. L., and Campbell, D.: Calibration and intercomparison of filter-based measurements of visible light absorption by aerosols, Aerosol Sci. Tech., 30, 582–600,, 1999. 
Short summary
Here we report on the development of a novel single-beam photothermal interferometer and its use in the measurement of aerosol light absorption. We demonstrate how light-absorbing gases can be used to calibrate the instrument and how this absorption is automatically subtracted during normal operation. The performance of the instrument is compared to a standard filter-based instrument using a black carbon test aerosol. The 60 s detection limit is found to be less than 10 Mm-1.