nanoDynamite is supported by the European Research Council (ERC) under the FP7 excellence program “Ideas”, project No. 616075.

The project started in March 2014 and will be running until March 2019.

Funding volume is 1.810.698,00 EUR.

Aerosol nanoparticle formation has been identified as a significant source of ambient aerosol that may impact cloud properties and is considered a health threat. Our research aims at resolving the initial steps in the transition of (trace) vapors to the condensed phase in nanoparticles. Such phase transition processes constitute a vital link between molecular scale interactions and macroscopically relevant outcome.


Contact: Assoz. Prof. Dr. Paul Winkler


Specifically we study:
  • Biogenic aerosol formation using small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS)
  • Nanoparticle growth mechanisms using a differential mobility analyzer (DMA) train
  • Heterogeneous nucleation using the versatile size analyzing nuclei counter (vSANC)


To a large extent the experiments are conducted in our laboratory at the Faculty of Physics, but we also participate frequently in international measurement campaigns.

Besides field measurements at the SMEAR II station in Hyytiälä, Finland, we have lately been at the synchrotrons Elettra in Triest, Italy, and at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland. We are actively participating in the CLOUD project which is dedicated to the study of ambient nanoparticle formation under precisely controlled chamber conditions.

The CLOUD chamber at CERN allows us to investigate specifically the influence of cosmic rays and trace amounts of vapors on nanoparticle formation

Photo Blog

Nanodynamite at BEAR beamline in Elettra, Trieste, Italy. Assoc. Prof. Paul Winkler (left) and Dr. Miguel Vázquez Pufleau (right) (November 2018).

VUV SANC (Vacuum Ultra-Violet Size Analyzing Nuclei Counter) water cooled automated experimental chamber connected to UV synchrotron light and red laser for the in situ determination of aerosol growth rate (November 2018).

Aerosol generation side to feed the VUV SANC with constant concentration monodisperse NaCl aerosols (November 2018).

Pressure, red laser transmission, 30° UV and red laser scattering data collection and visualization for each automated adiabatic expansion in the setup, with Miguel (November 2018).

Tour de synchrotron 1: at ID02 SAXS beamline at ESRF in Grenoble (July 2018).

Tour de synchrotron 2: nanoDynamite takes a break in Versaille (July 2018).

Tour de synchrotron 3: set-up at Swing beamline at SOLEIL (July 2018).

Tour de synchrotron 4: nanoDynamite at SOLEIL (July 2018).

nanoDynamite science retreat in Innsbruck: visit of the Innsbruck Atmospheric Observatory at the Institute of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, 2018-01-15.

Groundstation (Schwechat), 2017-08-09.

CLOUD data workshop, May 29th - June 2nd.

(photo: © J. Krpelan)

ERC Talk in Vienna, 13-03-2017.

DMA-train goes Cyprus, 02-23-2017.

On top of the tube of the LHC @ CERN, 10-28-2016.

Shipping the DMA-Train, 09-26-2016.

Bernhard and Paulus @ Elettra near Trieste, 09-24-2016.

The Nanodynamite-Team (Christian T., Paul W., Dominik S., Andrea O.) took part at the Vienna City Marathon 2016 on April 10th, 2016.

Top view of the DMA-Train.

Overview over the setup of the CLOUD 10 campaign.

Paulus Bauer at the DMAtrain in operation on the current CLOUD 10 campaign.

Transportation of the DMAtrain to the CLOUD chamber at CERN, Geneva (September 2015).

Full flowtube setup with air switching module at the SAXS beamline at Elettra (July 2015, Elettra).

Paul Winkler inserting the inner flow tube (July 2015, Elettra).

Paul Winkler and Paulus Bauer greasing the sampling port (July 2015, Elettra).

Showcasing the new DemoSANC at the Campus Festival (June 12-14, 2015).

DMAtrain @ CERN

(photo: © Dominik Stolzenburg)

(photo: © Dominik Stolzenburg)

DMAtrain now in operation at the CLOUD chamber at CERN, Geneva (May 2015).

Milestone-Event: DMA-Delivery and DMAtrain-Pumprack-Delivery by Grimm Aerosol Technik (Feb. 2015).

Grimm Aerosol nanoDMA. This DMA will be used six times in the final DMAtrain setup (Feb. 2015).

Grimm Aerosol HV-Unit for DMA HV-supply (Feb. 2015).

Grimm Aerosol pump rack for the DMA sheath air supply (Feb. 2015).

Six Condensational Particle Counters (CPCs) running in parallel (Jan. 2015).

DMAtrain in the first construction phase during december 2014 and a corresponding design study.

Setup for biogenic aerosol deposition with CPC and DMPS measurement system.

Laminar flow condition testing with a laser and fume inside the inner tube and pure air as sheath air.

Assembling steps of the final flow tube setup with an aluminum holding for the SAXS system at Elettra.

Assembling the setup at the SAXS beamline at Elettra.

X-ray beam adjustment with green paper (dark green line is the beam).

Paul Winkler with the flow tube and the CPC and DMPS measurement system.

New adjustments at the beam line with air cleaning modules (black tubes).