Dr. Thorsten Bartels-Rausch

photo of Thorsten Bartels-Rausch Scientist
Surface Chemistry

Paul Scherrer Institute
5232 Villigen PSI

Telephone: +41 56 310 4301
E-mail: thorsten.bartels-rausch@psi.ch

Research activities

Snow and ice are chemically active. The resulting fluxes of trace gases impact air quality and climate change as well as health, when the trace species are released to the aquatic environment and enter the food web. To better understand the underlying processes on a fundamental level, we do laboratory based experiments:

At the interface

Investigate the fate of solutes at the surface of ice on a molecular level taking full advantage of core-level spectroscopy at the Swiss Light Source of PSI (SLS).

Multiphase systems

Investigate the physical interactions and chemical reactivity of trace impurities in snow and ice in larger scale experimental systems that perfectly mimic environmental settings.


  • I studied chemistry in Würzburg (Germany), Trondheim (Norway) and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH) where I received my master degree in 1999. Master thesis at the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) with a work on the trace analysis of organic pesticides in water samples.
  • PhD at the University of Berne (2003) under the supervision of Heinz Gäggeler and Markus Ammann (Paul Scherrer Institute): Uptake of atmospheric trace gases on ice and snow surfaces. Thermodynamic description of adsorption processes. Work on the effect of snow properties on adsorption processes.
  • Post-Doc at the University of Toronto (Canada) with work in the laboratories of Jamie Donaldson and of Jon Abbatt. Investigation of the photolysis of nitrogen oxides on snow surfaces. Development of an experimental method to better characterise the ice surface and understand its role during uptake processes.
  • Since 2006 scientist in surface chemistry group at the Paul Scherrer Institute.
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  • Efficient bulk mass accommodation and dissociation of N2O5 in neutral aqueous aerosol G Gržinić, T Bartels-Rausch, A Türler and M Ammann
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 17, 6493-6502 (2017).
    DOI: 10.5194/acp-17-6493-2017
  • Experimental evidence for the formation of solvation shells by soluble species at a nonuniform air–ice interface T Bartels-Rausch, F Orlando, X Kong, L Artiglia and M Ammann
    ACS Earth and Space Chemistry 1, 572-579 (2017).
    DOI: 10.1021/acsearthspacechem.7b00077
  • A surface-stabilized ozonide triggers bromide oxidation at the aqueous solution-vapour interface L Artiglia, J Edebeli, F Orlando, S Chen, M-T Lee, P Corral Arroyo, A Gilgen, T Bartels-Rausch, A Kleibert, M Vazdar, M Andres Carignano, JS Francisco, PB Shepson, I Gladich and M Ammann
    Nature Communications 8, 700 (2017).
    DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00823-x
  • Coexistence of Physisorbed and Solvated HCl at Warm Ice Surfaces X Kong, A Waldner, F Orlando, L Artiglia, T Huthwelker, M Ammann and T Bartels-Rausch
    Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 4757-4762 (2017).
    DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b01573
  • Photochemical Formation of Nitrite and Nitrous Acid (HONO) upon Irradiation of Nitrophenols in Aqueous Solution and in Viscous Secondary Organic Aerosol Proxy F Barsotti, T Bartels-Rausch, E De Laurentiis, M Ammann, M Brigante, G Mailhot, V Maurino, C Minero and D Vione
    Environmental Science and Technology 51, 7486-7495 (2017).
    DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b01397
  • Efficient bulk mass accommodation and dissociation of N2O5 in neutral aqueous aerosol G Gržinić, T Bartels-Rausch, A Türler and M Ammann
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 17, 6493-6502 (2017).
    DOI: 10.5194/acp-17-6493-2017
  • The environmental photochemistry of oxide surfaces and the nature of frozen salt solutions: A new in situ XPS approach F Orlando, A Waldner, T Bartels-Rausch, M Birrer, S Kato, MT Lee, C Proff, T Huthwelker, A Kleibert, J van Bokhoven and M Ammann
    Topics in Catalysis 59, 591-604 (2016).
    DOI: 10.1007/s11244-015-0515-5
  • Viscosity controls humidity dependence of N2O5 uptake to citric acid aerosol G Gržinić, T Bartels-Rausch, T Berkemeier, A Türler and M Ammann
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 15, 13615-13625 (2015).
    DOI: 10.5194/acp-15-13615-2015
  • Production and use of 13N labeled N2O5 to determine gas–aerosol interaction kinetics G Gržinić, T Bartels-Rausch, M Birrer, A Türler and M Ammann
    Radiochimica Acta 102, 1025 (2014).
    DOI: 10.1515/ract-2014-2244
  • Emerging areas in atmospheric photochemistry. In: Topics in Current Chemistry: Atmospheric Chemistry C George, B D’Anna, H Herrmann, C Weller, V Vaida, DJ Donaldson, T Bartels-Rausch and M Ammann
    Springer (Ed.: PA Ariya) 399, 1-53 (2014).
    DOI: 10.1007/128_2012_393
  • Large mixing ratios of atmospheric nitrous acid (HONO) at Concordia (East Antarctic Plateau) in summer: A strong source from surface snow? M Legrand, S Preunkert, M Frey, T Bartels-Rausch, A Kukui, MD King, J Savarino, M Kerbrat and B Jourdain
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 14, 9963-9976 (2014).
    DOI: 10.5194/acp-14-9963-2014
  • A review of air–ice chemical and physical interactions (AICI): liquids, quasi-liquids, and solids in snow T Bartels-Rausch, HW Jacobi, TF Kahan, JL Thomas, ES Thomson, JPD Abbatt, M Ammann, JR Blackford, H Bluhm, C Boxe, F Domine, MM Frey, I Gladich, MI Guzmán, D Heger, T Huthwelker, P Klán, WF Kuhs, MH Kuo, S Maus, SG Moussa, VF McNeill, JT Newberg, JBC Pettersson, M Roeselová and JR Sodeau
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 14, 1587-1633 (2014).
    DOI: 10.5194/acp-14-1587-2014
  • Adsorption of acetic acid on ice studied by ambient-pressure XPS and partial-electron-yield NEXAFS spectroscopy at 230–240 K A Křepelová, T Bartels-Rausch, MA Brown, H Bluhm and M Ammann
    Journal of Physical Chemistry A 117, 401-409 (2013).
    DOI: 10.1021/jp3102332
  • Diffusion of volatile organics through porous snow: impact of surface adsorption and grain boundaries T Bartels-Rausch, SN Wren, S Schreiber, F Riche, M Schneebeli and M Ammann
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 13, 6727-6739 (2013).
    DOI: 10.5194/acp-13-6727-2013
  • Chemistry: Ten things we need to know about ice and snow T Bartels-Rausch
    Nature 494, 27-29 (2013).
    DOI: 10.1038/494027a
  • The adsorption of peroxynitric acid on ice between 230 K and 253 K T Ulrich, M Ammann, S Leutwyler and T Bartels-Rausch
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 12, 1833-1845 (2012).
    DOI: 10.5194/acp-12-1833-2012
  • Temporal evolution of surface and grain boundary area in artificial ice beads and implications for snow chemistry F Riche, T Bartels-Rausch, S Schreiber, M Ammann and M Schneebeli
    Journal of Glaciology 58, 815-817 (2012).
    DOI: 10.3189/2012JoG12J058
  • Organics in environmental ices: Sources, chemistry, and impacts VF McNeill, AM Grannas, JPD Abbatt, M Ammann, P Ariya, T Bartels-Rausch, F Domine, DJ Donaldson, MI Guzman, D Heger, TF Kahan, P Klán, S Masclin, C Toubin and D Voisin
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 12, 9653-9678 (2012).
    DOI: 10.5194/acp-12-9653-2012
  • Standard states and thermochemical kinetics in heterogeneous atmospheric chemistry DJ Donaldson, M Ammann, T Bartels-Rausch and U Pöschl
    Journal of Physical Chemistry A 116, 6312-6316 (2012).
    DOI: 10.1021/jp212015g
  • Comment on ‘possible contribution of triboelectricity to snow–air interactions’ T Bartels-Rausch and M Schneebeli
    Environmental Chemistry 9, 119-120 (2012).
    DOI: 10.1071/EN11147
  • Ice structures, patterns, and processes: A view across the icefields T Bartels-Rausch, V Bergeron, JHE Cartwright, R Escribano, JL Finney, H Grothe, PJ Gutiérrez, J Haapala, WF Kuhs, JBC Pettersson, SD Price, CI Sainz-Díaz, DJ Stokes, G Strazzulla, ES Thomson, H Trinks and N Uras-Aytemiz
    Reviews of Modern Physics 84, 885-944 (2012).
    DOI: 10.1103/RevModPhys.84.885
  • UVA/VIS-induced nitrous acid formation on polyphenolic films exposed to gaseous NO2 Y Sosedova, A Rouvière, T Bartels-Rausch and M Ammann
    Photochemistry and Photobiology 10, 1680-1690 (2011).
    DOI: 10.1039/C1PP05113J
  • A novel synthesis of the N-13 labelled atmospheric trace gas peroxynitric acid T Bartels-Rausch, T Ulrich, T Huthwelker and M Ammann
    Radiochimica Acta 99, 285-292 (2011).
    DOI: 10.1524/ract.2011.1830
  • Photoinduced reduction of divalent mercury in ice by organic matter T Bartels-Rausch, G Krysztofiak, A Bernhard, M Schläppi, M Schwikowski and M Ammann
    Chemosphere 82, 199-203 (2011).
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2010.10.020
  • Co-adsorption of acetic acid and nitrous acid on ice M Kerbrat, T Huthwelker, T Bartels-Rausch, HW Gäggeler and M Ammann
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 12, 7194-7202 (2010).
    DOI: 10.1039/b924782c
  • Humic acid in ice: Photo-enhanced conversion of nitrogen dioxide into nitrous acid T Bartels-Rausch, M Brigante, YF Elshorbany, M Ammann, B D'Anna, C George, K Stemmler, M Ndour and J Kleffmann
    Atmospheric Environment 44, 5443-5450 (2010).
    DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2009.12.025
  • Interaction of gaseous elemental mercury with snow surfaces: Laboratory investigation T Bartels-Rausch, T Huthwelker, M Jöri, HW Gäggeler and M Ammann
    Environmental Research Letters 3, 045009 (2008).
    DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/3/4/045009
  • Uptake of acetone, ethanol and benzene to snow and ice: Effects of surface area and temperature JPD Abbatt, T Bartels-Rausch, M Ullerstam and T Ye
    Environmental Research Letters 3, 045008 (2008).
    DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/3/4/045008
  • Suppression of aqueous surface hydrolysis by monolayers of short chain organic amphiphiles D Clifford, T Bartels-Rausch and DJ Donaldson
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 9, 1362-1369 (2007).
    DOI: 10.1039/b617079j
  • Hono and no2 evolution from irradiated nitrate-doped ice and frozen nitrate solutions T Bartels-Rausch and DJ Donaldson
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions 6, 10713-10731 (2006).
  • Atmospheric pressure coated-wall flow-tube study of acetone adsorption on ice T Bartels-Rausch, T Huthwelker, HW Gäggeler and M Ammann
    Journal of Physical Chemistry A 109, 4531-4539 (2005).
    DOI: 10.1021/jp045187l
  • The partitioning of acetone to different types of ice and snow between 198 and 223 k T Bartels-Rausch, C Guimbaud, HW Gäggeler and M Ammann
    Geophysical Research Letters 31, L16110 (2004).
    DOI: 10.1029/2004GL020070
  • An atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometer (apci-ms) combined with a chromatographic technique to measure the adsorption enthalpy of acetone on ice C Guimbaud, T Bartels-Rausch and M Ammann
    International Journal of Mass Spectrometry 226, 279-290 (2003).
    DOI: 10.1016/S1387-3806(03)00019-8
  • The adsorption enthalpy of nitrogen oxides on crystalline ice T Bartels-Rausch, B Eichler, HP Zimmermann, HW Gäggeler and M Ammann
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 2, 235-247 (2002).
    DOI: 10.5194/acp-2-235-2002
  • Determination of phenylurea herbicides in natural waters at concentrations below 1 ng 1(-1) using solid-phase extraction, derivatization, and solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography mass spectrometry AC Gerecke, C Tixier, T Bartels-Rausch, RP Schwarzenbach and SR Müller
    Journal of Chromatography A 930, 9-19 (2001).
    DOI: 10.1016/S0021-9673(01)01192-X
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