Spectral particle extinction coefficients of atmospheric aerosols were measured with, to the best of our knowledge, a newly designed differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) instrument. A closure study was carried out on the basis of optical and microphysical aerosol properties obtained from nephelometer, particle soot∕absorption photometer, hygroscopic tandem differential mobility analyzer, twin differential mobility particle sizer, aerodynamic particle sizer, and Berner impactors. The data were collected at the urban site of Leipzig during a period of 10 days in March 2000. The performance test also includes a comparison of the optical properties measured with DOAS to particle optical properties calculated with a Mie-scattering code. The computations take into account dry and ambient particle conditions. Under dry particle conditions the linear regression and the correlation coefficient for particle extinction are 0.95 and 0.90, respectively. At ambient conditions these parameters are 0.89 and 0.97, respectively. An inversion algorithm was used to retrieve microphysical particle properties from the extinction coefficients measured with DOAS. We found excellent agreement within the retrieval uncertainties.
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