Adam Milsom

University of Birmingham


Impact on Viscosity, Reactivity and Atmospheric Lifetimes of Complex Aerosol Self-Assembly


Dr. Christian Pfrang (Birmingham) and Dr. Adam M. Squires (Bath)

PhD Summary

I make atmospherically-relevant fatty acid/water mixtures which self-assemble. These atmospheric aerosol proxies are then ultrasonically-levitated and exposed to ozone under simulated atmospheric conditions (RH and T). The self-assembled structure is probed by small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) and the reaction is followed by Raman (laser) spectroscopy. These techniques are used simultaneously at synchrotron x-ray sources such as the Diamond Light Source (Didcot). So far, there is suggestion that reaction rates are affected significantly by self-assembly. This may have implications for the cloud formation properties of organic aerosols.

What inspires you?

Not one thing in particular inspired me. I think that the natural world is one we must study to better understand how to manage it for the future.

Previous Activity

I did an MChem in chemistry at Loughborough University.

Why did you choose Docotoral Research?

I enjoy the research environment. I like the independence and finding out new things. The process of planning, doing and analysing an experiment is one that I enjoy.

Why did you choose a CENTA Studentship?

Originally I was part of another NERC DTP though the opportunities outside of my area are definitely a big bonus of being part of a DTP. It broadens my experience.

What are your future plans

The range of opportunities outside of the PhD give me a more rounded experience. Exposure to a broader range of experiences help me put my research into context. At the moment I am unsure as to what I want to do in the future. I still enjoy research and will most likely stay there.