LAC - Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry
The Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry (LAC), established 1 January 2000, is a laboratory of the Energy and Environment Research Division (ENE) at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI).
Understanding the processes determining the gas and aerosol chemistry and aerosol physics in the atmosphere in order to determine (1) the impact of energy use on the atmosphere and (2) the impact of pollution on air quality, human health, local weather and climate change.
Our laboratory consists of four interacting groups that operates cutting-edge facilities and instrumentations in the lab and in the field. We run three National facilities, two ambient observatories and an atmospheric chamber facility, that are foreseen to be included in the ACTRIS European research infrastructure. We study the impact of anthropogenic air pollution across environments ranging from cities in Europe and developing countries (e.g. India and China) to pristine areas (e.g. in polar regions and in the free troposphere). We are continuously measuring key climate variables relevant for aerosol properties at the landmark high-alpine Jungfraujoch research site in Switzerland. We simulate the processes occurring in the atmosphere in our smog chamber facility and during experiments at the CLOUD chamber at CERN. Field and laboratory data are interpreted and air pollution sources are quantified with numerical and statistical models. We collaborate with toxicologists, epidemiologists and medical doctors to understand the impact of air pollution on health.
News & Highlights
PSI is involved in the development of a breath test that can be used to diagnose asthma. Imad El Haddad explains why such a test could be extremely useful – especially for children.
The paper "Sources of particulate-matter air pollution and its oxidative potential in Europe" published in Nature by Kaspar Dällenbach and his team at the LAC has won the 2022 Mariolopoulos Trust Fund Award, along with another paper in the field of atmospheric environment.
One breath is all it takes to detect the COVID-19 infections using a new method developed by the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in collaboration with the Paul Scherrer Institute.
In the research field “Geosciences”, 143 highly cited researchers were appointed worldwide this year, 7 of them from Switzerland, 2 of them from the Paul Scherrer Institute.