Dropping Acid in the Atmosphere: Is It Just a Phase?

EAS Fall 2018 Seminar Series Presents Dr. Andrew Ault, University of Michigan

Dropping Acid in the Atmosphere: Is It Just a Phase:

Atmospheric aerosols are incredibly complex chemical systems with thousands of species present in yoctoliter to attoliter volumes, which makes measuring their chemical and physical properties an analytical challenge. 

Despite these instrumental demands, measuring aerosol properties is essential, as air pollution leads to 10% of global deaths annually, primarily due to the effects of atmospheric particles. These aerosols are also the most uncertain aspect of radiative balance leading to climate change. 

The Ault Laboratory is focused on understanding the complex heterogeneous and multiphase chemistry occurring within aerosols systematic physical chemistry studies, the development of new analytical methods, and measurements of complex systems in that atmosphere. We conduct these studies this through a combination of spectroscopy, microscopy, and mass spectrometry techniques. 

This seminar will focus on the acidity of atmospheric aerosols, the influence of phase and morphology on atmospheric particles, and uptake of low volatility gases through viscous films. Additional projects in the Ault group probe organic material from harmful algal blooms in the atmosphere, engineered nanoparticle modification in the gastrointestinal tract, and reactions on indoor surfaces. 

With our novel analytical methodologies, the Ault Laboratory is providing fundamental molecular insights into the chemistry occurring within atmospheric aerosols that have significant consequences for human health and global climate.

Event Details


  • Thursday, December 6, 2018
    11:00 am - 11:50 am
Location: Molecular Sciences & Engineering Building (MoSE), Room 1201A
Fee(s): Free

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  • Andrew Ault

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Natasha Lawson