Chemical Changes in Atmospheric Aerosols
Aerosols containing soot and polyaromatic hydrocarbons are emitted into the atmosphere as products of incomplete combustion. Sarah Brooks' group is using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and Horizontal Attenuated Total Reflectance to identify the chemical characteristics of surfaces of soot and polyaromatics and to observe how those characteristics evolve over time in an oxidizing atmosphere.
Measurements of Ice Nucleation
Members of Sarah Brooks' group are conducting measurements of ice nucleation events in laboratory and field campaigns. Instrumentation employed here includes the continuous flow diffusion chamber for in-situ aircraft measurements of ice nuclei and a high resolution ice microscope for freezing experiments.
Don Collins and his research group have employed advanced aerosol instrumentation at several National Parks inside and outside of Texas in order to understand the impact of specific classes of particles on light extinction and visibility. Much of this effort is directed at quantifying the enhancement in light scattering in response to increased relative humidity.
Don Collins and his research group apply new techniques to examine the factors that control the cloud nucleating behavior of atmospheric aerosols. This effort has involved development of new surface and aircraft-based instruments that have been used in field studies throughout the world.