ChBE Seminar Series: Challenge of Quantification of Aerosol Optical Properties

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
2108 Chem/Nuc Building
Akua Asu-Awuku

Speaker: Chris ZangmeisterMaterials Measurement Lab, NIST

Title: The Challenge of Quantification of Aerosol Optical Properties in the Terrestrial Atmosphere


The scattering and absorption of light by suspended nanoparticles (aerosol) affects the energy balance of the Earth’s atmosphere. High uncertainty exists in the magnitude of heat trapped, but it is currently estimated that the most absorbing class of atmospheric aerosol, black carbon, exceeds that trapped by methane. Quantifying the extent of heating is highly challenging due to variability in the chemical, physical, spatial, temporal and lifetime of aerosols; all of which can affect the quantification of the optical properties (absorption and scattering). 

This talk will focus on NIST’s role in the development of instrumentation and methods (i.e. metrology) used to quantify aerosol optical properties. We apply these methods to well-characterized aerosol under controlled conditions to better understand the parameters that influence these properties. Finally, the development of aerosolizable nanomaterials that can be used to calibrate aerosol instrumentation, harmonize measurements, and standardize methods across multiple laboratories will be presented. 


Chris Zangmeister received his B.S in chemistry from Humboldt State University in 1996. He received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of Arizona (Jeanne E. Pemberton advisor) in 2001 where he studied surface chemistry of atmospherically relevant surfaces. He joined NIST as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow working on the electronic structure of single molecule films used in the storage and transfer of charge across interfaces. In 2011 he became the program leader for aerosol measurements in the Materials Measurement Laboratory at NIST. Since that time, he has worked on methods to classify aerosolized nanoparticles, quantify their optical properties and ways to harmonize methods within the aerosol community.

Audience: Campus 

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