Research Activities of the AEP Group

Aerosols are small solid or liquid particles suspended in air, ranging in size from molecular clusters to particles and small droplets with diameters of several hundred micrometers. Small particles are inhalable and can be detrimental to human health. Atmospheric aerosols are highly heterogeneous in space and time, and are difficult to implement into climate models. Aerosols influence atmospheric radiative transfer and the hydrological cycle, and their interaction with clouds is a major source of uncertainty for future climate predictions.

The AEP group is oriented towards basic aerosol science. Currently, research focuses on the following topics:

 1) Airborne aerosol measurements

 2) bundance and properties of cloud condensation nuclei

 3) Measurement and intercomparison of measurement methods for black and brown carbon in aerosols

 4) Nucleation and nanoparticle formation in ambient and laboratory settings

 5) Microphysical and optical properties of non-spherical particles such as mineral dust and volcanic ash

 6) Impacts of meteorology and biogenic contributions on ambient atmospheric aerosols

 7) Development of new measurement methods for the characterization of nanometer-sized particles.

A particular strength of the group is in the development, adaptation and testing of measurement techniques, with a long track record of ground-breaking designs and technologies. Inter-disciplinary research investigates zones in exoplanetary systems supporting life based on solvents other than water. Current research is continually integrated into lectures and lab classes on aerosol science, environmental science and global change.