Interference testing for atmospheric HOx measurements by laser-induced fluorescence

Xinrong Ren, Hartwig Harder, Monica Martinez, Ian C. Faloona, David Tan, Robert L. Lesher, Piero Di Carlo, James B. Simpas, William H. Brune

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41 Scopus citations


Accurate OH and HO2 (collectively called HOx) measurements by laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) may be contaminated by spurious signals from interfering atmospheric chemicals or from the instrument itself. Interference tests must be conducted to ensure that observed OH signal originates solely from ambient OH and is not due to instrument artifacts. Several tests were performed on the Penn State LIF HOx instrument, both in the laboratory and in the field. These included measurements of the instrument's zero signal by using either zero air or perfluoropropylene to remove OH, examination of spectral interferences from naphthalene, sulfur dioxide, and formaldehyde, and tests of interferences by addition of suspected interfering atmospheric chemicals, including ozone, hydrogen peroxide, nitrous acid, formaldehyde, nitric acid, acetone, and organic peroxy radicals (RO2). All tests lacked evidence of significant interferences for measurements in the atmosphere, including highly polluted urban environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-190
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Atmospheric Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Atmospheric Science


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