Better air quality through chemistry: Real-time monitoring of reactive trace species in key atmospheric reactions impacting air quality

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Sch of Chemistry


Air quality and climate are controlled by the chemistry of reactive trace species in the atmosphere. Our ability to understand, predict and design policies to improve air quality and climate, is thus dependent on our understanding of the chemistry of reactive trace species.

In this project you will study the chemistry of Criegee intermediates, an important class of reactive intermediates produced in the atmosphere following the oxidation of unsaturated volatile organic compounds by ozone. Criegee intermediates react rapidly in the atmosphere, with potential impacts on the oxidising capacity of the atmosphere and formation of sulfate aerosol and secondary organic aerosol. However, detailed assessments of the role and impacts of Criegee intermediates in the atmosphere are hindered by a lack of information regarding the kinetics and product yields of Criegee intermediate reactions.

You will develop capabilities for direct and simultaneous monitoring of reactants and products in the laboratory during the course of reactions taking place on microsecond timescales in real-time and apply this to studies of key atmospheric reactions of Criegee intermediates. You will combine the use of time-resolved broadband UV absorption spectroscopy and time-resolved infrared quantum cascade laser (QCL) spectroscopy developed in the Stone group to achieve these goals, providing valuable information on the kinetics and mechanisms of Criegee intermediates for assessments of atmospheric composition, air quality and climate.

You will have opportunities to develop skills in experimental design, kinetics, spectroscopy, atmospheric modelling and data analysis. You will develop experimental methodology that can be applied to a wide range of problems including those in atmospheric chemistry, combustion chemistry, astrochemistry, and materials chemistry.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
NE/S007458/1 31/08/2019 29/09/2027
2444548 Studentship NE/S007458/1 30/09/2020 31/03/2024 Rachel Lade