BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

New Approaches for Understanding the Role of Aerosols in Atmospheric Processes
Published: March 03, 2011
Posted: April 07, 2011

Aerosols have a profound effect on the energy balance of Earth’s atmosphere because aerosols absorb and scatter solar radiation and take up water to form cloud droplets. However, scientists do not fully understand the formation and evolution of atmospheric organic aerosols. By coupling new, high-resolution mass spectrometry methods and chemoinformatics models with electron microscopy and micro-spectroscopy, a team of scientists from the University of California, Irvine, and DOE’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a DOE scientific user facility in Richland, Wash., suggest that significant improvements can be made in our understanding of aerosol composition, aging, and the direct and indirect effects of aerosols on atmospheric radiation and climate processes. The unique advantages of using EMSL’s new nanospray desorption electrospray ionization (nanoDESI) mass spectrometry system are highlighted in the cover story of the March 7, 2011, issue of Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, DOE’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences, and EMSL’s Intramural Research and Capability Development Program.

Reference: Nizkorodov, S. A., J. Laskin, and A. Laskin. 2011. “Molecular Chemistry of Organic Aerosols Through the Application of High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry,” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 13,3612–29. DOI: 10.1039/C0CP02032J.

Contact: Paul E. Bayer, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5324
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research
  • Research Area: DOE Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)

Division: SC-33.1 Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)