Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry

The Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry (LUC) focuses on fundamental research and education for assessing the impact of human activities and natural processes on human health, environment and climate.
The surface chemistry research group investigates multi-phase chemical processes relevant for atmospheric chemistry and the analytical chemistry research group reconstructs environmental and climatic conditions from high-altitude glaciers.

1 July 2019

Welcome Yohei Uemura

We warmly welcome Yohei Uemura as Postdoc in the Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry. He joined the Surface Chemistry group on 1 July 2019.

Yohei Uemura got his master and PhD degree in chemistry at the University of Tokyo. He has then continued on an academic career path at different universities in Japan and last at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. His speciality is the application of fast and ultrafast X-ray absorption spectroscopy techniques to follow the chemical dynamics of reactions. At PSI, Yohei Uemura will study the photolysis of organo-iodide compounds and the fate of primary and secondary iodine products in aqueous solutions at the SwissFEL and the SuperXAS beamline.

Read more
1 April 2019
Petr Nalivaika

Welcome Petr Nalivaika

A warm welcome to Petr Nalivaika, our new PhD student in the Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry! He started working in the Analytical Chemistry group on 1 April 2019.

Petr obtained his master in Analytical Chemistry from the McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada. During his master thesis he investigated structured conductive probes for mass spectrometry.

Petr will work on the reconstruction of heavy metal pollution for the region of the former Soviet Union (FSU) for the past ~7000 years using ice cores from study sites in the Siberian and Mongolian Altai. His thesis work is part of the SNF funded project entitled “Reconstructing historic and modern anthropogenic FSU heavy metal pollution”.

Read more
1 April 2019
Manoharan Yanisha

Welcome Yanisha Manoharan

Join me in welcoming Yanisha, our new PhD-student in Markus Ammann's group.

Yanisha got her master in chemistry at the university of Berne. During her master thesis, she worked on "Scanning tunneling microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy study of a thioacetate-functionalized aromatic molecule on metal substrates”. At PSI, Yanisha Manoharan will be studying the kinetics of nitrate photochemistry in ice samples. Her thesis work is part of the SNF funded project entitled "Interfacial Chemistry of Ice: Photolysis and Acid-Base Equilibria in the QLL and Brine“.

Read more
17 October 2018
teaser picture

Why the Little Ice Age ended in the middle of the 19th century

Media Releases Energy and Environment Enviroment

In the first half of the 19th century, a series of large volcanic eruptions in the tropics led to a temporary global cooling of Earth's climate. That Alpine glaciers grew and subsequently receded again during the final phase of the so-called Little Ice Age was due to a natural process. This has now been proven by PSI researchers on the basis of ice cores.

Read more
26 September 2017
In the experimental chamber, a very thin vertical jet of water can be seen, which flows downward in the middle of the picture from a small tube. During the experiment, the chamber contains a gas mixture including ozone, which reacts on the surface with bromide in the water and produces bromine. As an intermediate step in the process, a short-lived compound of bromide and ozone is made, which was detected for the first time ever with the help of X-ray light from SLS. For this proof, the X-ray light knocked …

Light from the particle accelerator helps to understand ozone decomposition

PSI researchers have developed an experimental chamber in which they can recreate atmospheric processes and probe them with unprecedented precision, using X-ray light from the Swiss Light Source SLS. In the initial experiments, they have studied the production of bromine, which plays an essential role in the decomposition of ozone in the lower layers of the atmosphere. In the future, the new experiment chamber will also be available for use by researchers from other scientific fields.

Read more
  • A Holocene black carbon ice-core record of biomass burning in the Amazon Basin from Illimani, Bolivia D Osmont, M Sigl, A Eichler, TM Jenk and M Schwikowski
    Climate of the Past 15, 579-592 (2019).
    DOI: 10.5194/cp-15-579-2019
  • A new method for the determination of primary and secondary terrestrial and marine biomarkers in ice cores using liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry ACF King, C Giorio, E Wolff, E Thomas, O Karroca, M Roverso, M Schwikowski, A Tapparo, A Gambaro and M Kalberer
    Talanta 194, 233-242 (2019).
    DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2018.10.042