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Group News

Brown Carbon Paper Chosen for Cover of ES&T Letters!
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Our article entitled “Light Absorption by Charge Transfer Complexes in Brown Carbon Aerosols” has been chosen for the cover of Environmental Science and Technology Letters.

The article describes how charge transfer complexes formed through interactions between carbonyl moieties and alcohol groups absorb UV and visible light thereby giving brown carbon aerosols their color.

Sabrina’s ES&T Letters Paper Chosen as ACS Editors’ Choice!
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Our article entitled “Light Absorption by Charge Transfer Complexes in Brown Carbon Aerosols” published recently in Environmental Science and Technology Letters has been chosen as an ACS Editors’ Choice.

ACS Editors’ Choice articles are selected based on recommendations by the scientific editors of all 44 ACS journals from around the world. These articles remain open for all to access and read. 

New Ph.D. candiate, Mike Pogash, joins the Smithlab
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The Smithlab welcomes its newest member, Ph.D. candidate Mike Pogash. Mike comes to UGA from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA where he received his B.S. While there, Mike worked in the lab of Peter Graham on the synthesis and reactivity of η2-CO2 complexes.

Our Manuscript Describing our Novel UV-visible Photoacoustic Spectrophotometer Appears in Analytical Chemistry
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In this work we describe a new instrument for measuring the absorption spectra of aerosol particles.  Using a Hg arc lamp and a series of bandpass filters, we are able to measure absorption over the range 300 - 700 nm at eight discrete wavelength bands.  We demonstrate how the unique combination of UV and visible wavelengths makes it possible to infer the relative contributions of “black” and “brown” carbon in particles as a function of wavelength.

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We study aerosol optical properties and chemistry relevant to climate change.

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The Smith group studies how aerosol particles in the atmosphere react with trace gases and interact with sunlight.

We carry out laboratory experiments, sample ambient air, and design and deploy novel instruments.

What we learn about how particles evolve chemically and how they scatter and absorb light helps improve understanding of air pollution and climate change.


We design, build and develop one-of-a-kind instruments to characterize aerosols.

Our instruments measure light absorption and extinction (scattering + absorption) by aerosols and the chemical composition of particles.

  • PHOTOACOUSTIC SPECTROPHOTOMETER
    PHOTOACOUSTIC SPECTROPHOTOMETER
  • CAVITY RINGDOWN
    CAVITY RINGDOWN
  • BROADBAND CAVITY-ENHANCED SPECTROPHOTOMETER
    BROADBAND CAVITY-ENHANCED SPECTROPHOTOMETER
  • AEROSOL MASS SPECTROMETER
    AEROSOL MASS SPECTROMETER
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       Sample


    We collect samples of ambient aerosols by drawing air through filters.

    The collected particulate matter allows us to perform a variety of offline tests and analyses including UV-vis absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy as well as chemical reductions to help us learn more about why aerosols absorb light.

       Measure


    We study model aerosol systems in the lab to understand how particles in the atmosphere react and change.

    Using our aerosol chemical ionization mass spectrometers, we measure rates of reactions between gas-phase species, such as OH, O3, Cl and NO3, and organic aerosols.

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       Educate


    We work with students at a variety of ages to learn about the importance of atmospheric chemistry.

    Some of the activities that we involve students in include creating their own tests for atmospheric ozone and programming inexpensive Arduino microcontrollers to make portable air quality sensors.