Optical Spectroscopy

Research Group Dr. Horst Fischer

The optical spectroscopy working group develops and deploys instrumentation to measure atmospheric trace gases using optical detection methods. The main target molecules are NO, NO2, O3, CO, HCHO, H2O2 and CH4. These are detected by mid infrared absorption, fluorescence and chemiluminescence spectroscopy. The instruments deployed on the ground, on ships and aircraft need to be compact, robust and highly sensitive. The focal point of the group's scientific research is the photochemical formation and control mechanisms of ozone in the undisturbed background troposphere, i.e. in air that is not directly anthropogenically polluted. This involves studies into the photochemical steady state of the NO/NO2/O3 system and experimental identification of ozone formation and destruction tendencies. Particular attention is devoted to the formation of ozone in the lee of deep convective clouds which efficiently transport trace gases from the boundary layer to the tropopause region at 8-15 km altitude.

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