Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-362
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-362

  20 Nov 2021

20 Nov 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

LED based solar simulator to study photochemistry over a wide temperature range in the large simulation chamber AIDA

Magdalena Vallon, Linyu Gao, Feng Jiang, Bianca Krumm, Jens Nadolny, Junwei Song, Thomas Leisner, and Harald Saathoff Magdalena Vallon et al.
  • Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany

Abstract. A light source has been built at the simulation chamber AIDA (Aerosol Interactions and Dynamics in the Atmosphere) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, simulating solar radiation at ground level. Instead of full spectra light sources, it uses a combination of LEDs with a narrow emission spectrum, resulting in a combined spectrum similar to the solar spectrum between 300 and 530 nm. The use of LEDs leads to an energy-efficient, robust and versatile illumination concept. The light source can be used over a wide temperature range down to −90 °C, is adjustable in intensity and spectral width as well as easily adjustable to new technological developments or scientific needs. Characterization of the illumination conditions shows a vertical intensity gradient in the chamber. The integral intensity corresponds to a NO2 photolysis frequency j(NO2) of (1.58 ± 0.21 (1σ)) x 10−3 s−1 for temperatures between 213 and 295 K. At constant temperature, the light intensity is stable within ±1 %. While the emissions of the different LEDs change with temperature, they can be adjusted, thus it is possible to adapt the spectrum for different temperatures. Although, the illumination of the simulation chamber leads to an increase of 0.7 K h−1 of the mean gas temperature, it is possible to perform experiments with aqueous droplets at relative humidities up to ≤ 95 % and also above water or ice saturation with corresponding clouds. Additionally, temperature and wavelength dependent photolysis experiments with 2,3-pentanedione have been conducted. The photolysis of 2,3-pentanedione occurs mainly between 400 and 460 nm resulting in a mean photolysis frequency of (1.03 ± 0.15) x 10−4 s−1 independent of temperature in the range 213–298 K with a quantum yield of 0.36 ± 0.04. In contrast the yield of the two main photolysis products, acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, decreases with temperature. Furthermore, the light source was applied to study the photochemistry of aerosol particles. For the atmospheric brown carbon proxy compound 3,5-diacetyl-2,4,6-trimethyl-1,4-dihydropyridine photochemical reaction products were identified. In aerosol particles containing iron oxalate as photosensitizer the photosensitized degradation of organic acids (pinic and pinonic acid) was studied. Although, the light source only generates about 1/3 of the maximum solar irradiation at ground level with a substantial intensity gradient throughout the simulation chamber it could be shown that this type of light source allows reproducible experiments over a wide range of simulated atmospheric conditions and with a large flexibility and control of the irradiation spectrum.

Magdalena Vallon et al.

Status: open (until 02 Jan 2022)

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Magdalena Vallon et al.

Magdalena Vallon et al.

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Short summary
A LED-based light source has been constructed for the simulation chamber AIDA at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. It allows aerosol formation and ageing studies under atmospherically relevant illumination intensities and spectral characteristics at temperatures from −90 °C to 30 °C with the possibility to change the photon flux and irradiation spectrum at any point. First results of photolysis experiments with 2,3-pentanedione, iron oxalate and a brown carbon component are shown.