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Collett Research Group

Atmospheric Chemistry / Air Quality Program
Department of Atmospheric Science
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado USA


Our group specializes in instrument design for cloud and fog sampling.  The 5-stage cloud collector (shown below) was designed and tested in our laboratory and has been used in several field campaigns in N. America and Europe. Click here to see some of the many other cloud and fog sampling instruments we currently use. We have also been pursuing, in recent years, development of new, compact, inexpensive instruments for near real-time characterization of aerosol composition. Efforts in this area, involving partnerships with Prof. Chuck Henry of the CSU Chemistry Department, Dr. Susanne Hering of Aerosol Dynamics, Inc., and Dr. Greg Roberts of Scripps, include development of microchip capillary electrophoresis systems for online measurement of PM2.5 aerosol and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) composition as well as testing of new "spot samplers" for time resolved aerosol sampling followed by automated, offline sample extraction and analysis.

The CSU 5-stage Cloud Collector is designed to collect cloud drops in five different size ranges for chemical analysis. It has been used in field campaigns at Whiteface Mountain, New York, Davis, California, and Angiola, California.

Our laboratories, opened in the new Atmospheric Chemistry Building in 2005, are well equipped for chemical analysis of atmospheric samples. A Hewlett Packard 6890/5973 GC-MS and two Aglent LC/MS systems (time of flight and ion trap) are used study the organic composition of aerosol particles and cloud/fogwater. GC/MS and GC/FID systems are also available for analysis of volatile organic carbon (VOC) samples. Other analytical instruments in our laboratory include eight Dionex Ion Chromatographs, a Varian model 640Z Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, a Shimadzu Total Organic Carbon Analyzer with Total Nitrogen Module, and several UV/Vis and flueorescence spectrophotometers and pH meters.

Photos taken inside our laboratories. An equipment design and testing laboratory and a graduate teaching laboratory are not shown.

Our lab is home to a high resolution Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS) and an Ionicon high sensitivity PTR-MS. We also have instruments for continuous measurement of gaseous NOx, NOy, NH3, CH4, C2H2, O3, CO, CO2, and hydrogen peroxides, a Magee Scientific Aethalometer for aerosol black carbon measurements, a Sunset Laboratories OC/EC analyzer, 3 Particle-Into-Liquid Samplers (PILS), and several impactors, denuders (URG and ETH) and filter samplers for collection of organic and inorganic aerosols and trace gases. The CSU atmospheric chemistry group has several instruments for generating calibration aerosols and measuring their size distributions. These include TSI atomizers a TSI vibrating orifice aerosol generator (VOAG), optical particle counters, several TSI differential mobility analyzers, and a TSI aerodynamic particle sizer.

We have 3 mobile laboratories including a 30' mobile air quality laboratory (see photo below) designed for use in NPS-sponsored studies of aerosols and their impacts on regional haze and of reactive nitrogen transport and deposition. We also have a smaller mobile lab (12' box)for similar field deployments and a new Hybrid Chevy Tahoe SUV for field measurements of plumes emitted by oil and gas operations. Much of the equipment outlined above is available for deployment in these mobile laboratories.

Last updated
Dec. 31, 2012