Articles | Volume 7, issue 8
Research article
18 Aug 2014
Research article |  | 18 Aug 2014

Development of a cavity-enhanced aerosol albedometer

W. Zhao, X. Xu, M. Dong, W. Chen, X. Gu, C. Hu, Y. Huang, X. Gao, W. Huang, and W. Zhang

Abstract. We report on the development of a cavity-enhanced aerosol single-scattering albedometer based on incoherent broadband cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy (IBBCEAS) combined with an integrating sphere (IS) for simultaneous in situ measurements of aerosol scattering and extinction coefficients in an exact same sample volume. The cavity-enhanced albedometer employed a blue light-emitting-diode (LED)-based IBBCEAS approach for the measurement of wavelength-resolved aerosol optical extinction over the spectral range of 445–480 nm and an integrating sphere nephelometer coupled to the IBBCEAS setup for the measurement of aerosol scattering. The scattering signal was measured with a single-channel photomultiplier tube (PMT), providing an averaged value over a narrow bandwidth (full-width at half-maximum, FWHM, ~ 9 nm) in the spectral region of 465–474 nm. A scattering coefficient at a wavelength of 470 nm was deduced as an averaged scattering value over the spectral region of 465–474 nm and used for data analysis and instrumental performance comparison. Performance evaluation of the albedometer was carried out using laboratory-generated particles and ambient aerosol. The scattering and extinction measurements of monodisperse polystyrene latex (PSL) spheres generated in the laboratory proved excellent correlation between two channels of the albedometer. The retrieved refractive index (RI) of the PSL particles from the measured scattering and extinction efficiencies agreed well with the values reported in previously published papers. Aerosol light scattering and extinction coefficients, single-scattering albedo (SSA) and NO2 concentrations in an ambient sample were directly and simultaneously measured using the albedometer developed. The instrument developed was validated via an intercomparison of the measured aerosol scattering coefficients and NO2 trace gas concentrations to a TSI 3563 integrating nephelometer and a chemiluminescence detector, respectively.