Open Access Technical Note: Organics-Induced Fluorescence in Raman Studies of Sulfuric Acid Aerosols

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Fluorescence is a troublesome side effect in laboratory Raman studies on sulfuric acid solutions and aerosol particles. We performed experiments showing that organic matter induces fluorescence in H2SO4/H2O solutions. The intensity of the fluorescence signal appears to be almost independent of the concentration of the organic substances, but depends strongly on the sulfuric acid concentration. The ubiquity of organic substances in the atmosphere, their relatively high abundance, and the insensitivity of the fluorescence with respect to their concentrations will render most acidic natural aerosols subject to absorption and fluorescence, possibly influencing climate forcing. We show that, while fluorescence may in the future become a valuable tool of aerosol diagnostics, the concurrent absorption is too small to significantly affect the atmosphere's radiative balance.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Laboratorium fu¨r Atmospha¨renphysik (LAPETH), ETH Zu¨rich, Ho¨nggerberg HPP, Zu¨rich, Switzerland

Publication date: April 1, 2002

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