Understanding Secondary Organic Aerosol Thermodynamics, Mixing State and Phase with Models, Mimics, and Microfluidics

Seminar | January 24 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | 575 McCone Hall

 Cari Dutcher, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota

 College of Chemistry

Atmospheric aerosols are one of the major contributing factors to our climate, yet are a leading source of uncertainty in climate modeling. This uncertainty arises from the intricate nature of aerosol particles: these particles are complex microenvironments, which can contain multiple interfaces due to internal liquid – liquid phase partitioning and the external vapor – liquid surface. Aerosol particle interfaces have profound effects on particle morphology, species uptake, equilibrium partitioning, activation to cloud condensation or ice nuclei, and optical properties. Many factors play a role in determining a particle’s internal structure, such as ambient environmental conditions and the chemical composition of the respective phases, resulting in many possible particle configurations. In order to fully predict a particle’s internal structure at a given temperature, relative humidity, and chemical composition, fundamental studies of interfaces observed in atmospheric aerosol particles are essential. In this talk, analytic and laboratory studies resulting in significant advances in our understanding of atmospheric aerosol particle interfacial dynamics will be discussed, including biphasic microscale flow experiments for generating, trapping, and perturbing complex interfaces at atmospherically relevant conditions.

Cari S. Dutcher is the Benjamin Mayhugh Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with a graduate faculty appointment in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. Her research interests are in aerosol science and multiphase fluids, with environmental applications. She has received the 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award (2015), NSF CAREER Award (2016), ACS PRF DNI Award (2016), McKnight Land-Grant Professorship (2017), and American Association for Aerosol Research Kenneth T. Whitby Award (2017). Prior to her faculty position, Cari was an NSF-AGS Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Air Quality Research Center at the University of California, Davis. Cari received her B.S from Illinois Institute of Technology (2004) and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (2009), both in Chemical Engineering.