Molecular Chemistry of Atmospheric Aerosols and Their Environmental Impacts

Speaker: Alexander Laskin, Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

When: Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 3:30 p.m. Mountain Time
Location: Room 2A305, DSRC (NOAA Building), 325 Broadway, Boulder
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Fundamental understanding of the complex chemistry of atmospheric aerosols, its environmental impacts is a challenging task because no single method of analytical chemistry is capable of providing the full range of analytical chemistry information. Electron microscopy and micro-spectroscopy approaches can visualize individual particles and their internal structures; however, they largely exclude molecular-level information, and are limited to elemental and chemical bonding characterization. Contemporary methods of high-resolution mass spectrometry can provide detailed information on the molecular content of organic aerosol, but these methods use bulk particle samples and provide no knowledge of the individual particle composition. Therefore, application of complementary analytical methods of chemical analysis is necessary for comprehensive characterization of aerosol properties ranging from bulk molecular composition of aerosol organic constituents to microscopy level details of individual particles. Combined assessment of the results provided by complementary analytical chemistry techniques offers unique insights to understand the composition and environmental chemistry of aerosols. This presentation will give an overview of our recent field and laboratory studies of atmospheric aerosols with an overall goal to understand fundamental relationship between composition of airborne particles and their environmental impacts.