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Photo-transformation of particles of atmospheric interest and influence on their hygroscopic properties. A levitation technique coupled to the Raman microscope study

Full Description:

The project will be conducted in the framework of Labex CaPPA (Chemical and Physical Properties of the Atmosphere)

In the frame of global warming, confirmed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the role of aerosol particles on the climate change is still poorly understood (IPCC, 2007). Hygroscopic properties of the particles play a major role on their climatic impact. Size, chemical composition and mixing state of particles are the parameters that govern their ability to adsorb water in the atmosphere. Moreover, during their stay in the atmosphere, particles undergo complex physicochemical mechanisms induced not only by the presence of humidity, pollutant gases, other particles or gaseous chemical species but also by solar radiation. These physicochemical transformations taking place at the individual particle scale involve, over time, a change of their size, their chemical composition and their mixing state and finally their hygroscopic property.

This thesis project aims to study
(i) the photo-transformation of individual particles of complex composition,
(ii) the influence of the physicochemical changes induced by light on the hygroscopic properties of the particles.

Studies will be performed in the laboratory using an acoustic levitation device coupled to the Raman microscope that has been recently developed at LASIR. This device dedicated to the study of individual particles of atmospheric interest is unique in France which brings an added value to the thesis project. Furthermore, the results of these experiences will be compared with the mechanisms and products observed for the organic molecules isolated in matrices that will be carried out in the framework of a collaborative project with the University of La Plata, Argentina (project ECOS-SUD obtained for 2014 to 2016).
These studies will provide a basis for understanding the photochemistry and the catalytic role of the atmospheric particles, as well as the physicochemical parameters governing the hygroscopic properties of aerosols in the atmosphere.

Candidate profile: Master degree or equivalent showing an initiation to research. He or she should be strongly motivated, meticulous and self-sufficient. Vibrational spectroscopy knowledge will be appreciated. Short stays in Argentine are foreseen, so fluent English (or Spanish) is essential.


Start Date: 01 October 2014duration: 36 months, deadline to apply: 15 June 2014

Subject1:Physical Chemistry Subject2:Chemistry (other) Subject3:Atmospheric Physics 
Lab:Laboratoire de Spectrochimie Infrarouge et Raman (Lasir)
Institution:Lille 1 University City:Lille Region:Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Salary:15-20k€ annual gross Fund category:Public Funding - Region (State) 
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