Characterization and potential for reducing optical resonances in Fourier transform infrared spectrometers of the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC)

Thomas Blumenstock, Frank Hase, Axel Keens, Denis Czurlok, Orfeo Colebatch, Omaira Garcia, David W.T. Griffith, Michel Grutter, James W. Hannigan, Pauli Heikkinen, Pascal Jeseck, Nicholas Jones, Rigel Kivi, Erik Lutsch, Maria Makarova, Hamud K. Imhasin, Johan Mellqvist, Isamu Morino, Tomoo Nagahama, Justus NotholtIvan Ortega, Mathias Palm, Uwe Raffalski, Markus Rettinger, John Robinson, Matthias Schneider, Christian Servais, Dan Smale, Wolfgang Stremme, Kimberly Strong, Ralf Sussmann, Yao Té, Voltaire A. Velazco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although optical components in Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers are preferably wedged, in practice, infrared spectra typically suffer from the effects of optical resonances ("channeling") affecting the retrieval of weakly absorbing gases. This study investigates the level of channeling of each FTIR spectrometer within the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC). Dedicated spectra were recorded by more than 20 NDACC FTIR spectrometers using a laboratory mid-infrared source and two detectors. In the indium antimonide (InSb) detector domain (1900-5000 cm-1), we found that the amplitude of the most pronounced channeling frequency amounts to 0.1 ‰ to 2.0 ‰ of the spectral background level, with a mean of (0:68±0:48) ‰ and a median of 0.60 ‰. In the mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe) detector domain (700-1300 cm-1), we find even stronger effects, with the largest amplitude ranging from 0.3 ‰ to 21 ‰ with a mean of (2:45±4:50) ‰ and a median of 1.2 ‰. For both detectors, the leading channeling frequencies are 0.9 and 0.11 or 0.23 cm-1 in most spectrometers. The observed spectral frequencies of 0.11 and 0.23 cm-1 correspond to the optical thickness of the beam splitter substrate. The 0.9 cm-1 channeling is caused by the air gap in between the beam splitter and compensator plate. Since the air gap is a significant source of channeling and the corresponding amplitude differs strongly between spectrometers, we propose new beam splitters with the wedge of the air gap increased to at least 0.8. We tested the insertion of spacers in a beam splitter's air gap to demonstrate that increasing the wedge of the air gap decreases the 0.9 cm-1 channeling amplitude significantly. A wedge of the air gap of 0.8 reduces the channeling amplitude by about 50 %, while a wedge of about 2 removes the 0.9 cm-1 channeling completely. This study shows the potential for reducing channeling in the FTIR spectrometers operated by the NDACC, thereby increasing the quality of recorded spectra across the network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1239-1252
Number of pages14
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2021

Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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