The Institute for Energy and Climate Research, Troposphere (IEK-8) aims for understanding the chemical and physical processes in the troposphere that determine the chemical constituents of the atmosphere impacting air quality and climate. HOx-radicals (OH, HO2) play a central role in the chemical transformation of trace gases that are emitted by plants and by anthropogenic activities. Their small concentrations make their detection challenging. Quantification of their concentration in the atmosphere is essential to understand the photo-chemical processes that lead to the formation of secondary pollutants such as ozone and aerosol. IEK-8 is world-leading in the detection of HOx radicals achieved by custom-built laser spectroscopy instruments.
The Ph.D. student will work on the execution, evaluation and interpretation of experiments in the outdoor atmospheric simulation chamber SAPHIR at IEK-8. SAPHIR is one of the largest environmental chambers in the world, which allows for the investigation of photo-chemical processes at atmospheric conditions. Experiments will be performed as part of an EU project (ERC-Consolidator Grant Project). The goal of the project is to quantify the budget of radicals in in air mixtures that are representative for air in Europe, which is influenced by organic compounds from biogenic sources. The first part of experiments will deal with the seasonal variability and the second part with specific questions in the photo-chemical oxidation of organic compounds emitted by plants. The interpretation of experiments requires the measurement of a large number of trace gases. Therefore, experiments are performed in a team operating different instruments.
Preparation, execution and evaluation of quality-assured HOx radical measurements performed by laser-spectroscopy in experiments in the atmospheric simulation chamber SAPHIR
Interpretation of experiments with the goal to quantify processes that determine the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere for conditions of the experiments
Comparison of measured HOx radical concentration time series to model calculations in order to improve atmospheric chemical models for air quality predictions
Excellent scientific environment and technical facilities
Opportunities of being part of the national and international scientific community
Broad spectrum of training in the Graduate School HITEC http://www.hitec-graduate-school.de/ and the Forschungszentrum
International, interdisciplinary working environment on an attractive research campus, ideally situated between the cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Aachen
A comprehensive further training programme, including English language courses
Flexible working hours and various opportunities to reconcile work and family life
Limited for 3 years
Salary and social benefits in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD).