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Developing a new microfluidics device to measure the concentration of atmospheric ice nucleating particle in the remote marine atmosphere

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Ben Murray
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Clouds and their radiative properties are very sensitive to the presence of rare particles which are capable of triggering the formation of an ice crystal. These special particles are known as ice nucleating particles (INPs), but their abundance, identity and distribution in the atmosphere is very poorly constrained. Typically only one in a million aerosol particles is capable of nucleating ice. This makes their measurement in the field challenging and very few measurements exist. So little data exists that we find it hard to say how accurate our models of atmospheric INP distributions are.

In this PhD project your overall objective will be to quantify the concentration of ice nucleating particles in the remote marine atmosphere. In order to achieve this you will:
o Help a post-doc develop a new microfluidics based INP counter.
o Take a lead in deploying this instrument in a range of field campaigns. Campaigns will include coastal land based sites as well as deployment on research vessels in the world’s remote oceans.
o Use our sea surface microlayer sampler to quantify the marine source of INP.
o Relate your measurements to the predictions of our global aerosol.
o Perform bubble tank experiments where we artificially generate sea spray aerosol both on the research ship in the laboratory.

Funding Notes

The award will fund a UK/EU candidate for up to 3.5 years including tuition fees, stipend at the UK research council rate, and research costs. The PhD can commence from now until the end of the year.

How good is research at University of Leeds in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 79.20

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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