Thornton Group

Department of Atmospheric Sciences
University of Washington, Seattle
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Group Members
Research Projects

Joel Thornton
                     Meeting schedule

Our research projects are generally geared toward improving our understanding of regional and global tropospheric oxidation chemistry, and its relation to air quality and climate, through a combination of field measurements, laboratory process studies, and computer modeling.

In particular, we are interested in both the daytime and nighttime chemistry of nitrogen oxide radicals, which act as catalysts for ozone production, controls on the OH radical, and as a source of nitrogen to ecosystems. Nocturnal nitrogen oxide chemistry, via NO3 and N2O5, involves heterogeneous reactions on aerosols and reactions with biogenic volatile organic compounds with implications for aerosol mass (and therefore climate forcings) and halogen chemistry in the polluted marine boundary layer.

We are thus also interested in the effects of oxidants as sources and sinks of aerosol organic mass, and the role of heterogeneous chemistry generally, but specifically that involved in the removal of nitrogen oxides, and the activation and recycling of halogen species.

As part of these efforts we focus on the development of field deployable detection technologies involving selected-negative ion chemical ionization mass spectrometry and unique kinetic and product studies of heterogeneous chemistry in the laboratory.

Below are links to more detailed descriptions of recent results and activities related to these topics.

A version of the UW-CIMS instrument in field-deployable form.

New York City skyline from the RV Knorr. Photo by Chris Cappa

Nitrogen Oxide Chemistry, Transport, and Deposition

Chemistry and Effects of Aerosol Organic Matter

Tropospheric Halogen Chemistry

Influence of Asian pollution at Mount Bachelor during INTEX-B 2006
Organics at the Gas-Aerosol Interface Observationally Constrained Estimates of ClNO2 Production

Acyl Peroxy Nitrate Fluxes and Vertical Gradients over a Ponderosa Pine Forest During BEARPEX 2007
Heterogeneous Oxidation of Aerosol Organic Matter
ClNO2 Production by N2O5 During LILACS and ICEALOT
N2O5 and NO3 Reactivity Determinations Development of a micro orifice volatilization impactor - chemical ionization - time of flight mass spectrometer (MOVI-CI-ToFMS)