Photonics News

Conducting Atmospheric Research with a Pulse Delay Generator and Nd:YAG Laser

Accelerated depletion of the ozone layer continues to pose danger to life on Earth due to the increased exposure to harmful UV rays. As the tropospheric ozone layer recedes, dangerously high levels of UV radiation penetrate the upper layers of the ocean resulting in impaired marine ecosystems. An international research study1 published in 2020 uses Quantum Composers’ instruments to analyze the photodepletion of iodine oxides (IO) in the ocean – a factor closely tied to understanding ozone depletion chemical cycles.

The goal of the study was to determine the absorption cross-sections of IO by “combining pulsed laser photolysis of I2∕O3 gas mixtures in the air with time-resolved photo-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry, using NO2 actinometry for signal calibration.” As described in the study, Quantum Composers’ instruments – a pulse delay generator and Nd:YAG laser - worked seamlessly together to help researchers understand the kinetics of reactants and products and the photodepletion of IO. Precision timing was important for the study and the “laser pulse was programmed to a fixed delay with respect to the 248 nm excimer pulse.”

Research must continue to fully understand the photochemical processes and the products thereof. While the Montreal Protocol of 1987 and other global environmental initiatives help slow the production and use of ozone-depleting substances, there’s much to learn about the relationship between human activities, the atmosphere, and Earth’s ecosystems.

We’re proud to have our instruments chosen for use in this study. Our team has a rich history of working with engineers and scientists in academia around the world, synchronizing hardware for demanding and complex experiments. Learn more about our suite of photonics instruments including:

Some experiments require fully customized instruments. View our past custom projects and contact us for more information.

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1 Lewis, T. R., Gómez Martín, J. C., Blitz, M. A., Cuevas, C. A., Plane, J. M. C., and Saiz-Lopez, A.: Determination of the absorption cross sections of higher-order iodine oxides at 355 and 532 nm, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 10865–10887,, 2020.