Articles | Volume 9, issue 10
Research article
18 Oct 2016
Research article |  | 18 Oct 2016

A five-channel cavity ring-down spectrometer for the detection of NO2, NO3, N2O5, total peroxy nitrates and total alkyl nitrates

Nicolas Sobanski, Jan Schuladen, Gerhard Schuster, Jos Lelieveld, and John N. Crowley

Abstract. We report the characteristics and performance of a newly developed five-channel cavity ring-down spectrometer to detect NO3, N2O5, NO2, total peroxy nitrates (ΣPNs) and total alkyl nitrates (ΣANs). NO3 and NO2 are detected directly at 662 and 405 nm, respectively. N2O5 is measured as NO3 after thermal decomposition at 383 K. PNs and ANs are detected as NO2 after thermal decomposition at 448 and 648 K. We describe details of the instrument construction and operation as well as the results of extensive laboratory experiments that quantify the chemical and optical interferences that lead to biases in the measured mixing ratios, in particular involving the reactions of organic radical fragments following thermal dissociation of PNs and ANs. Finally, we present data obtained during the first field deployment of the instrument in July 2015.

Short summary
We report the characteristics and performances of a cavity ring-down spectrometer (CRDS) designed for field measurements that uses light absorption at 662 and 405 nm to detect different reactive nitrogen species or group of species in the gas phase, either directly or after thermal decomposition. We report improvements compared to currently existing instruments, and describe the corrections applied to the raw data to account for chemical and optical interferences.