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Fang F.,Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences | Kennedy J.,Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences | Futter J.,Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences | Hopf T.,Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Nanotechnology | Year: 2011

Several different synthetic methods have been developed to fabricate tungsten oxide (WO3) nanostructures, but most of them require exotic reagents or are unsuitable for mass production. In this paper, we present a systematic investigation demonstrating that arc discharge is a fast and inexpensive synthesis method which can be used to produce high quality tungsten oxide nanostructures for NO2 gas sensing measurements. The as-synthesized WO3 nanostructures are characterized by x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), finger-print Raman spectroscopy and proton induced x-ray emission (PIXE). The analysis shows that spheroidal-shaped monoclinic WO 3 crystal nanostructures were produced with an average diameter of 30nm (range 10-100nm) at an arc discharge current of 110A and 300Torr oxygen partial pressure. It is found that the morphology is controlled by the arc discharge parameters of current and oxygen partial pressure, e.g.a high arc discharge current combined with a low oxygen partial pressure results in small WO3 nanostructures with improved conductivity. Sensors produced from the WO3 nanostructures show a strong response to NO2 gas at 325 °C. The ability to tune the morphology of the WO3 nanostructures makes this method ideal for the fabrication of gas sensing materials. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Ryder C.L.,University of Reading | Highwood E.J.,University of Reading | Rosenberg P.D.,University of Leeds | Trembath J.,Airborne | And 12 more authors.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2013

New in-situ aircraft measurements of Saharan dust originating from Mali, Mauritania and Algeria taken during the Fennec 2011 aircraft campaign over a remote part of the Sahara Desert are presented. Size distributions extending to 300 μm are shown, representing measurements extending further into the coarse mode than previously published for airborne Saharan dust. A significant coarse mode was present in the size distribution measurements with effective diameter (deff) from 2.3 to 19.4 μm and coarse mode volume median diameter (dvc) from 5.8 to 45.3 μm. The mean size distribution had a larger relative proportion of coarse mode particles than previous aircraft measurements. The largest particles (with deff > 12 μm, or dvc > 25 μm) were only encountered within 1 km of the ground. Number concentration, mass loading and extinction coefficient showed inverse relationships to dust age since uplift. Dust particle size showed a weak exponential relationship to dust age. Two cases of freshly uplifted dust showed quite different characteristics of size distribution and number concentration. Single Scattering Albed (SSA) values at 550 nm calculated from the measured size distributions revealed high absorption ranging from 0.70 to 0.97 depending on the refractive index. SSA was found to be strongly related to deff. New instrumentation revealed that direct measurements, behind Rosemount inlets, overestimate SSA by up to 0.11 when deff is greater than 2 μm. This is caused by aircraft inlet inefficiencies and sampling losses. Previous measurements of SSA from aircraft measurements may also have been overestimates for this reason. Radiative transfer calculations indicate that the range of SSAs during Fennec 2011 can lead to underestimates in shortwave atmospheric heating rates by 2.0 to 3.0 times if the coarse mode is neglected. This will have an impact on Saharan atmospheric dynamics and circulation, which should be taken into account by numerical weather prediction and climate models. © 2013 Author(s).

Todd M.C.,University of Sussex | Todd M.C.,Aeroqual Ltd. | Allen C.J.T.,University of Oxford | Bart M.,University of Leeds | And 25 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres | Year: 2013

The climate of the Sahara is relatively poorly observed and understood, leading to errors in forecast model simulations. We describe observations from the Fennec Supersite-2 (SS2) at Zouerate, Mauritania during the June 2011 Fennec Intensive Observation Period. These provide an improved basis for understanding and evaluating processes, models, and remote sensing. Conditions during June 2011 show a marked distinction between: (i) a "Maritime phase" during the early part of the month when the western sector of the Sahara experienced cool northwesterly maritime flow throughout the lower troposphere with shallow daytime boundary layers, very little dust uplift/transport or cloud cover. (ii) A subsequent "heat low" phase which coincided with a marked and rapid westward shift in the Saharan heat low towards its mid-summer climatological position and advection of a deep hot, dusty air layer from the central Sahara (the "Saharan residual layer"). This transition affected the entire western-central Sahara. Dust advected over SS2 was primarily from episodic low-level jet (LLJ)-generated emission in the northeasterly flow around surface troughs. Unlike Fennec SS1, SS2 does not often experience cold pools from moist convection and associated dust emissions. The diurnal evolution at SS2 is strongly influenced by the Atlantic inflow (AI), a northwesterly flow of shallow, cool and moist air propagating overnight from coastal West Africa to reach SS2 in the early hours. The AI cools and moistens the western Saharan and weakens the nocturnal LLJ, limiting its dust-raising potential. We quantify the ventilation and moistening of the western flank of the Sahara by (i) the large-scale flow and (ii) the regular nocturnal AI and LLJ mesoscale processes. Key Points First detailed observations from western Sahara sector Intraseasonal shift in Saharan heat low drives meteorological/aerosol conditions Atlantic Inflow interaction with low level jet ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Marsham J.H.,University of Leeds | Hobby M.,University of Leeds | Allen C.J.T.,University of Oxford | Banks J.R.,Imperial College London | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres | Year: 2013

We describe observations from the Fennec supersite at Bordj Badji Mokhtar (BBM) made during the June 2011 Fennec Intensive Observation Period. These are the first detailed in situ observations of meteorology and dust from the central Sahara, close to the center of the Saharan heat low and the summertime dust maximum. Historically, a shortage of such Saharan observations has created problems for evaluating processes, models, and remote sensing. There was a monsoon influence at BBM before 8 June and after 12 June, with dry Harmattan winds in between. A split boundary layer, generated by ventilation from the Atlantic, persisted during the drier phase. Extensive cold pools (haboobs) and microburst-type events were regularly observed. Moisture reached BBM at night from the monsoon and the embedded haboobs. As well as the regularly occurring nocturnal low-level jet (LLJ), a Saharan upper boundary layer (650 hPa) jet was observed, where winds feel drag from dry convection in the afternoon. This jet is linked to the diurnal cycles of moisture and cloud. Most dust was observed in the cloudier monsoon-affected periods, and covarying dust and cloud amounts explain most of the variations in shortwave radiation that control the surface sensible flux. Dustiness is related to a standard parameterization of uplift using 10 m winds ("uplift potential"), and this is used to estimate uplift. Around 50% of uplift is nocturnal. Around 30% is from the LLJ, and 50% is from haboobs, which are mainly nocturnal. This demonstrates, for the first time from observations, the key role of haboobs, which are problematic for models. Key PointsFirst detailed observations from the central Sahara (upper BL jet observed)Most dust in moist air. Together, dust & cloud control surface energy balance~50% of dust uplift is nocturnal. ~30% from the LLJ and ~50% from haboobs ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Bart M.,Air Quality Inc. | Williams D.E.,MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology | Ainslie B.,Environment Canada | McKendry I.,University of British Columbia | And 5 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2014

A cost-efficient technology for accurate surface ozone monitoring using gas-sensitive semiconducting oxide (GSS) technology, solar power, and automated cell-phone communications was deployed and validated in a 50 sensor test-bed in the Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia, over 3 months from May-September 2012. Before field deployment, the entire set of instruments was colocated with reference instruments for at least 48 h, comparing hourly averaged data the standard error of estimate over a typical range 0-50 ppb for the set was 3 ± 2 ppb. Long-term accuracy was assessed over several months by colocation of a subset of ten instruments each at a different reference site the differences (GSS-reference) of hourly average ozone concentration were normally distributed with mean -1 ppb and standard deviation 6 ppb (6000 measurement pairs). Instrument failures in the field were detected using network correlations and consistency checks on the raw sensor resistance data. Comparisons with modeled spatial O3 fields demonstrate the enhanced monitoring capability of a network that was a hybrid of low-cost and reference instruments, in which GSS sensors are used both to increase station density within a network as well as to extend monitoring into remote areas. This ambitious deployment exposed a number of challenges and lessons, including the logistical effort required to deploy and maintain sites over a summer period, and deficiencies in cell phone communications and battery life. Instrument failures at remote sites suggested that redundancy should be built into the network (especially at critical sites) as well as the possible addition of a "sleep-mode" for GSS monitors. At the network design phase, a more objective approach to optimize interstation distances, and the "information" content of the network is recommended. This study has demonstrated the utility and affordability of the GSS technology for a variety of applications, and the effectiveness of this technology as a means substantially and economically to extend the coverage of an air quality monitoring network. Low-cost, neighborhood-scale networks that produce reliable data can be envisaged. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

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