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Organic aerosols: formation and climatic influence

Atmospheric aerosol particles affect the climate directly by absorbing and scattering incoming solar radiation and indirectly through enhancement of the albedo and lifetime of clouds in the atmosphere. The atmospheric oxidation of volatile organic compounds emitted to large extent from biogenic and anthropogenic sources is considered the most dominant source of organic aerosols in the atmosphere.

Using a newly constructed state-of-the-art smog chamber facility we aim to elaborate on the formation of aerosol from the atmospheric oxidation of biogenic and anthropogenic volatile organic compounds.

Through physical as well as chemical characterization we investigate the cloud forming abilities of aerosols from different precursors and strive to increase current knowledge on the climatic effects of atmospheric aerosols. 

Nano- and micro particles from the ocean

Sea spray particles are formed under windy conditions when air-bubbles get entrained in the ocean by breaking waves.At the surface these bubbles burst resulting in release of droplets containing salt and other components to the atmosphere. The particle production is dependent on temperature and chemical composition of the sea-water but the related chemical and physical processes are poorly understood and the properties of sea spray particles is a research field only in its infancy.

At the atmospheric physical chemistry group we aim to elucidate the properties of nano and micro particles from the ocean and their impact climate.

Organic aerosols: thermodynamic properties

Semi-volatile organic molecules in the atmosphere are constantly exchanged between gas and particle phase. To correctly describe this exchange in air quality and climate models knowledge about thermodynamic and kinetic properties governing the dynamic condensation and evaporation of atmospheric organic molecules is needed.

The goal of our research is to provide scientific understanding of the influence of particle properties including phase and chemical composition on the gas/particle partitioning of semi-volatile organic molecules in the atmosphere.

The research involves experimental work in a controlled laboratory environment and in the field in combination with thermodynamic modeling.