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Atmospheric chemistry group

Accumulation of atmospheric pollution is a major contributor to global warming and respiratory issues for humans. As cities grow larger with higher population densities, and new industries and/or products with unknown emission patterns enters the market, more and more people live in environments with substantially reduced air quality. Atmospheric research is therefore crucial for understanding processes leading to accumulation of hazardous compounds, and work to maintain habitable living environments on a local and global scale.

Our work

The atmospheric chemistry group specializes in Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS), an analytical method allowing precise real-time measurements of atmospheric compounds down very small levels (part-per-trillion!). The aim is to monitor the levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), reactive trace gases of both human and natural origin which leads to formation of fine particles and ozone on ground-level.

By conducting measurements over extended periods of time we investigate changes in the general levels caused by human activities, weather, events, and a multitude of other parameters. In the end we aim to unveil which compounds we have present, and where they come from. We conduct research with both known compounds, such as pollutants from traffic, and compounds with very little prior knowledge in field of research.

An image of one of our "homemade" PTR-ToF-MS
A picture of one of our "homemade" PTR-ToF-MS

The group also possess instruments for measuring NO2 and particles, and have close relations with external research facilities. We therefore have a broad academic profile, allowing us to offer various exciting projects for a potential bachelor or master project!


PhD candidate Alexander Håland


Professor Armin Wisthaler


Phone: (+47) 22 85 91 39

Other employees

Published Apr. 16, 2020 1:27 PM - Last modified Aug. 20, 2021 11:19 AM