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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.
Our laboratory comprises four interacting groups that operate a large variety of facilities and instruments in the lab and in the field.


26 May 2016

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Present-day measurements yield insights into clouds of the past

Media Releases Energy and Environment Environment

Researchers have shown how fine particles are formed from natural substances in the atmosphere. These findings will improve our knowledge about clouds in the pre-industrial era and thus will contribute to a more accurate understanding of both the past and future evolution of our climate.

9 May 2016

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Swiss chemist wins prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry Award

Professor Urs Baltensperger, from the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, is the Royal Society of Chemistry Spiers Memorial Award winner for 2016.

26 April 2016

Recognition as 'Highly Cited Researchers'

Two researchers of the Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry at PSI were recognized by Thomson Reuters as Highly Cited Researchers 2015. Their published articles rank in the top 1% most cited articles in their subject field for the year of publication.

The honored researchers are Urs Baltensperger, Head of the LAC, and André S. H. Prévôt, Head of the Gasphase and Aerosol Chemistry Group of the LAC.

Ernest Weingartner of FHNW is the third Highly Cited Researcher 2015 partially affiliated with PSI/LAC.

List of the highly cited researchers

29. June 2015

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Particulate matter from modern gasoline engines damages our lungs

Media Releases Environment Energy and Environment

For years, studies have proved that fine dust from petrol engines can damage our health. Modern engine technology does not help, either, as researchers from the University of Bern and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) reveal.

18 February 2015

Read an article on wood combustion in fireplaces, published in NZZ: Article in German

Listen to the radio broadcast regarding this publication: broadcast text message

17. September 2014


Airpocalypse explained

Media Releases Environment Energy and Environment

The causes of China's record level fine particulate pollution in winter 2013
At the beginning of 2013 a greyish-brown blanket of smog lay over large areas of China for several months. The fine particle pollution was higher by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude than the levels normally measured in Western Europe and the United States. An international team of researchers under the lead of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of the Sciences revealed the causes of the airpocalypse. The study published in the journal Nature also describes what steps are to be taken to prevent an environmental crisis of this kind in the future.

See also the news report of the Chinese TV (in Chinese) on 2014-09-18:

16. May 2014


Cloud formation takes ingredients from the forest

Media Releases Energy and Environment Environment

Scientists know that clouds have a net cooling effect on our planet but the exact magnitude of that cooling effect is not exactly known. A new study by the CLOUD experiment (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets) at CERN sheds light on the very first step of cloud formation, thereby contributing to a better understanding of the cloud-climate connection. The study was led by scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and was published on 16 May 2014 in the journal Science

13. May 2014


Unassuming rampant polluters on two wheels

Media Releases Energy and Environment Environment

In some towns small mopeds cause more air pollution than cars

Not cars or trucks, but mopeds with their two-stroke engines are the main source of fine particles and other air contaminants in many towns in Asia, Africa and southern Europe. This is revealed by the study of an international research team headed up by researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI. The reasons for the high emissions are the combustion properties in two-stroke engines and the overly lenient emission requirements for small two-wheelers. The study findings are to be published on 13 May 2014 in the journal Nature Communications. News report on Swiss TV (in German)