Measurements of Extinction by Aerosol Particles in the Near-Infrared Using Continuous Wave Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy

Daniel Mellon, Simon J. King, Jin Kim, Jonathan P. Reid, Andrew J. Orr-Ewing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Cavity ring-down spectroscopy using a fiber-coupled continuous wave distributed feedback laser at a wavelength of 1520 nm has been used to measure extinction of light by samples of nearly monodisperse aerosol particles <1 mu m in diameter. A model is tested for the analysis of the sample extinction that is based on the Poisson statistics of the number of particles within the intracavity laser beam: variances of measured extinction are used to derive values of the scattering cross section for size-selected aerosol particles, without need for knowledge of the particle number density or sample length. Experimental parameters that influence the performance of the CRD system and the application and limitations of the statistical model are examined in detail. Determinations are reported of the scattering cross sections for polystyrene spheres (PSSs), sodium chloride, and ammonium sulfate, and, for particles greater than 500 nm in diameter, are shown to be in agreement with the corresponding values calculated using Mie theory or Discrete Dipole Approximation methods. For smaller particles, the experimentally derived values of the scattering cross section are larger than the theoretical predictions, and transmission of a small fraction of larger particles into the cavity is argued to be responsible for this discrepancy. The effects of cubic structure on the determination of optical extinction efficiencies of sodium chloride aerosol particles are examined. Values are reported for the real components of the refractive indices at 1520 nm of PSS, sodium chloride, and ammonium sulfate aerosol particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-783
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2011


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