November 14, 2022

Edward Bates

PhD: The Atmospheric Chemistry of Peroxy Radicals

Location: University of Nottingham


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I am an Envision affiliated student who studies at the University of Nottingham in the School of Chemistry. My research involves developing and using a Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) setup to study the autoxidation of peroxy radicals. This is important as peroxy radicals are produced from isoprene and terpenes in forested areas and can then undergo a series of reactions in the troposphere that affect the climate. This happens either by directly interacting with solar radiation, or by affecting the properties of the clouds. The reactions are not well understood but play an important role in atmospheric chemistry and so the kinetic and spectroscopic parameters gathered, such as rate coefficients and absorption cross-sections, can be used in atmospheric modelling to improve our understanding of the effects on the environment.

For my undergraduate degree I was at the University of Nottingham studying Chemistry and Molecular Physics MSci, a course that helped develop me to think from different perspectives on a particular issue. During this time, I had the opportunity to do two projects, the first in my 3rd year developing an experimental setup to make a thin film of ice on a TiO2 surface in a vacuum, the second project in my 4th year working on producing an Optically Pumped Magnetometer (OPM) to measure very small magnetic fields. It was covering this large array of topics that helped me realise my true passion was with the environment and our atmosphere.