Stable Isotopes in Aerosols
Our investigations of organic aerosol focus on natural contributions to the atmospheric formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA). In contrast to primary aerosol, secondary aerosol is not directly emitted from a source but formed in the course of atmospheric chemical processes. Major natural sources of secondary organic aerosol are the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by terrestrial plants. Our group studies the formation of SOA from biogenic emissions and their influence on air quality and climate.
Key measurement methods deployed are aerosol mass spectrometry (AMS) and isotope mass spectrometry (IRMS). Mainly we use simulation chambers (SAPHIR, SAPHIR-Plus, aerosol chamber) for our studies. Experiments simulate conditions prevalent in the lower troposphere and boundary layer in particular with respect to concentrations of trace gases and oxidants. To facilitate the study of atmospheric oxidation of natural mixtures of VOCs we currently develop a plant climate chamber (PLUS) as natural source of VOCs. The main internal cooperation partners for our studies are the groups: Heterogenous Reactions and "Ecosystem Dynamics – Trace gas exchange".
Dr. Iulia Gensch
Dr. Thorsten Hohaus
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