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How do we conduct atmospheric chemistry research?
FINC is a Drop Freezing Ice Nuclei Counter. This instrument was designed right here in the lab! It is used to cool and freeze micro droplets of water, and capture when the ice nucleates using a high speed camera. This allows us to to see if ice that contains different types of nanoparticles nucleates at a different temperature than pure water, and compare results with other nanoparticles found in the atmosphere. In the big picture, research using FINC can help to predict different kinds of cloud formation based on pollutants in the atmosphere.
The Rayonet is used in photochemical experiments. It shines UV light at samples to initiate photochemical reactions, such as reactions that produce singlet oxygen. We are then able to take samples as the reaction progresses, and track the photochemical oxidants that are being produced. Overall, the Rayonet can give us insight into the photochemistry that is happening in the atmosphere, when molecules react with sunlight.