Articles | Volume 2, issue 1
09 Mar 2009
 | 09 Mar 2009

Intercomparison of peroxy radical measurements obtained at atmospheric conditions by laser-induced fluorescence and electron spin resonance spectroscopy

H. Fuchs, T. Brauers, R. Häseler, F. Holland, D. Mihelcic, P. Müsgen, F. Rohrer, R. Wegener, and A. Hofzumahaus

Abstract. Measurements of hydroperoxy radical (HO2) and organic peroxy radical (RO2) concentrations were performed by two different techniques in the atmospheric simulation chamber SAPHIR in Jülich, Germany. The first technique was the well-established Matrix Isolation Electron Spin Resonance (MIESR), which provides absolute measurements with a time resolution of 30 min and high accuracy (10%, 2 σ). The other technique, ROxLIF, has been newly developed. It is based on the selective chemical conversion of ROx radicals (HO2 and RO2) to OH, which is detected with high sensitivity by laser-induced fluorescence (LIF). ROxLIF is calibrated by quantitative photolysis of water vapor at 185 nm and provides ambient measurements at a temporal resolution of 1 min and accuracy of 20% (2 σ). The measurements of HO2 and RO2 obtained by the two techniques were compared for two types of atmospheric simulation experiments. In one experiment, HO2 and CH3O2 radicals were produced by photooxidation of methane in air at tropospheric conditions. In the second experiment, HO2 and C2H5O2 were produced by ozonolysis of 1-butene in air at dark conditions. The radical concentrations were within the range of 16 to 100 pptv for HO2 and 12 to 45 pptv for RO2. Good agreement was found in the comparison of the ROxLIF and MIESR measurements within their combined experimental uncertainties. Linear regressions to the combined data set yield slopes of 1.02±0.13 (1 σ) for RO2 and 0.98±0.08 (1 σ) for HO2 without significant offsets. The results confirm the calibration of the ROxLIF instrument and demonstrate that it can be applied with good accuracy for measurements of atmospheric peroxy radical concentrations.