Nuclear Physics

Lund University

Aerosol physics

Aerosol is particles in a gas volume. Examples are dust in your room air, cloud droplets, exhaust particles from an engine, sea-salt particles from wave foam as well as produced nanoparticles. We teach and research on the topic of aerosols: how are the particles structured, what is the interaction with the gas-phase, what physicochemical properties do they have, and what effects do they have on nature and our health?

Aerosol particles are everywhere, in size from 1 nanometer up to some tenths of a mm. Aerosol particles are not necessarily spherical, but can have a complex shape, surface structure and morphology (see image below). Filtered air can be completely free from particles, but dusty environments can have hundreds of thousands of particles per cubic centimetre. There is thus a high variability that sets high requirements on the instrumentation used and research questions to study.

Aerosol particles are used within nanotechnology (for instance solar cells), in health care (for instance the Turbuhaler®), but also have adverse health effects during deposition in our lungs and affect climate through the reflection and absorption of solar light and through cloud formation. Finally, they act as surfaces and volumes for atmospheric chemical reactions.

Please see the links below for more information about our research:

Particles collected from the stratosphere, imaged with TEM (black/white top left inset) and energy-filtered TEM (EFTEM, main coloured image). The selected particle is coloured according to red for carbon and green for sulphur. Nuances in orange and yellow represent areas where both substances are mixed. In this way structures with different chemistry can be investigated. Courtesy H. N. Nguyen and B. Martinsson.

The troposphere

The stratosphere

Laboratory aerosols

CAST (Consortium for Aerosol Science and Technology at Lund University)




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