Kevin Kilchhofer


PhD Student

Paul Scherrer Institut
Forschungsstrasse 111
5232 Villigen PSI
Since June 1, 2020 PhD Student in the Surface Chemistry Group in the Laboratory for Environmental Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute
2018 - 2020            Master in Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland with a focus in atmospheric physics and chemistry. Master thesis at the Atmospheric Physics Group in the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, thesis title: ‘The Impact of Cloud Processing on the Ice Nucleating Ability of Aerosol Particles’
2018                       Research Assistant, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich. Investigated the impact of cloud processing on soot particle in a laboratory setup using tow continuous flow diffusion chambers
2017 - 2018          Researcher, Institut für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft (WSL) in the Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Species Diversity

Scientific Internship in the Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute.

2012 - 2015              Bachelor in Earth Science, ETH Zurich, focus in Climate and Water, thesis title: ‘Investigation of Ice Nucleation from PM-Filters: Effect of Environmental Conditions on Ice Nuclei Concentration’

My main scientific interests are the formation of aerosol particles in the atmosphere to assess a better understanding in their impact on human health and climate. At PSI, I am investigating multiphase chemistry of nitrogen and secondary organic species and the interplay between reactive oxygen species in aerosol particles. I use scanning transmission X-ray spectromicroscopy (STXM) and online extractive electro-spray ionisation aerosol mass spectrometry (EESI-MS) as experimental methods, which are accompanied by a kinetic multi-layer model of aerosol surface and bulk chemistry (KM-SUB). Furthermore, I will deepen my understanding in the ability of aerosols to act as ice nucleating particles, which I have started at the beginning of my Master in the Atmospheric Physics Group at ETH Zurich. There, I investigated cold cloud-cycle scenarios in a newly developed cloud processing setup with two continuous flow diffusion chambers coupled in series. We studied three atmospherically relevant organic aerosol proxies, soot and coal fly ash particles on their ice nucleation potential and possible changes in their physicochemical properties after a cloud process.

Kilchhofer, K., Mahrt, F., and Kanji, Z. A. The Role of Cloud Processing for the Ice Nucleating Ability of Organic Aerosol and Coal Fly Ash Particles, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, doi: 0.3929/ethz-b-000421826, submitted

Mahrt, F., Kilchhofer, K., Marcolli, C., Görnquist, G., David, R. O., Rösch, M., Lohmann, U., and Kanji, Z. A. The impact of cloud processing on the ice nucleation abilities of soot particles at cirrus temperatures, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, doi:10.1029/2019JD030922, 2020