The interaction between trace gases and the surface of ice crystals in clouds is the key chemical mechanism for several atmospheric processes that deeply affect life on Earth, such as the absorption and scattering of sun radiation, ozone hole chemistry and acidic rains.
In the Focus Group on "Molecules at the ice surface" we aim at elucidating how ice surfaces interact with trace gases, usually made of small molecules - such as HCl, nitrates, and mono- and di-carboxylic acids.
We want to understand how ice surfaces may play as catalytic support for reactions in the atmosphere, and in turn how the adsorption of trace gases may change the kinetic of ice formation and melting in clouds. Understanding these phenomena requires the combination of experiments reproducing the thermodynamics conditions of the atmosphere in the lab, as well as molecular spectroscopy analysis of ice surfaces and molecular simulations, which provide an insight into detailed molecular processes.
The focus group therefore includes scientists from the Institute for Atmospheric Physics of JGU, MPIC (particle chemistry) and MPIP (molecular spectroscopy and theory).