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.