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The application of a cavity ring-down spectrometer to measurements of ambient ammonia using traceable primary standard gas mixtures


A correction for the undesirable effects of direct and indirect cross-interference from water vapour on ammonia (NH3) measurements was developed using an optical laser sensor based on cavity ring-down spectroscopy. This correction relied on new measurements of the collisional broadening due to water vapour of two NH3 spectral lines in the near infra-red (6548.6 and 6548.8 cm−1), and on the development of novel stable primary standard gas mixtures (PSMs) of ammonia prepared by gravimetry in passivated gas cylinders at 100 μmol mol−1. The PSMs were diluted dynamically to provide calibration mixtures of dry and humidified ammonia atmospheres of known composition in the nmol mol−1 range and were employed as part of establishing a metrological traceability chain to improve the reliability and accuracy of ambient ammonia measurements. The successful implementation of this correction will allow the extension of this rapid on-line spectroscopic technique to exposure chamber validation tests under controlled conditions and ambient monitoring in the field.

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We gratefully acknowledge the funding received from the Chemical and Biological Metrology Programme of the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) of the European Union. The EMRP is jointly funded by the EMRP participating countries within EURAMET and the European Union. © Crown copyright 2016 and reproduced by permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.

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Martin, N.A., Ferracci, V., Cassidy, N. et al. The application of a cavity ring-down spectrometer to measurements of ambient ammonia using traceable primary standard gas mixtures. Appl. Phys. B 122, 219 (2016).

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  • Doppler Width
  • Amount Fraction
  • Metrological Traceability
  • Ambient Ammonia
  • Repeatability Standard Deviation