Tropospheric Chemistry: Instruments

BrC-PILS instrument

BrC-PILS instrument

BrC-PILS (Particle-Into-Liquid Sampler for Organic Aerosol Absorption)

Principle of the Measurement

The BrC-PILS instrument measures the absorption and concentration of water-soluble organic carbon concentration. A particle-into-liquid sampler collects particles into a solution of pure water. The liquid is pumped through a liquid waveguide capillary cell to measure absorption at 300-700 nm using a deuterium/halogen lamp and a grating spectrometer. The total dissolved carbon is then measured by conversion to CO2. Together, these measurements provide the absorption spectrum, concentration of dissolved carbon, and the the mass absorption coefficient (absorption per unit carbon).

Species Measured

Absorption, concentration, and mass absorption coefficient of water-soluble organic aerosol

Time Response / Detection Limit

Absorption: 0.2 Mm-1 in 4 seconds
Organic aerosol mass: 0.06 μg m-3 in 4 seconds


Brechtel Instruments

Field Projects

  • FIREX 2016


  • ground sites
  • NOAA Twin Otter


Rebecca Washenfelder