We characterise complex aerosol systems like secondary organic aerosol (SOA) or combustion emissions regarding their chemical and physical properties relevant for climate, weather and air quality. Simulation chamber process studies on aerosol formation and aging over a wide range of atmospheric conditions are complemented by field studies focussing on special weather situations like heatwaves at dedicated locations ranging from remote mountain sites to polluted urban areas.
Aerosols are mixtures of trace gases and airborne particles. Chemistry is important for formation and aging of aerosols as well as for their impact on weather, climate, and health. We study the formation and aging of secondary aerosols, characterize the molecular composition of aerosols, and try to relate the aerosol chemical compositions to physical properties. Our work covers tropic to stratospheric conditions aiming to generate reaction kinetic, yield, and composition data allowing parameterization of aerosol sources and aging in transport models.
The quality of our air is defined by concentrations of specific trace gases and airborne particles as well as their composition. We study aerosol particles and trace gases in urban, rural, and remote locations with the aim to understand the roles of different sources, regional transport, the evolution of the planetary boundary layer, as well as extreme weather events. For this purpose, we combine detailed ground based aerosol characterization with remote sensing methods.