Max Planck Institute for Chemistry is a non-profit legal entity. The MPI for Chemistry is one of 80 research institutes of the Max Planck society dedicated to fundamental research. A total of 266 persons are employed at the MPI-C, including 66 scientists and 89 junior scientists. Prof. Williams is employed within the Atmospheric Chemistry department. The institute has extensive, well equipped laboratories, hosts a research school and has close links with the Universities. Its former director Prof. Paul Crutzen received the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 1995. The MPI covers the entire spectrum of atmospheric science ranging from laboratory kinetics, through atmospheric observations, to molecule-to-global scale modelling. The institute has a dedicated electrical and mechanical workshop for the instrument construction. The MPI-C is a non-profit legal entity and has own independent research premises. The institute is keen to support and develop new emergent technologies.
The main task for Max Planck team within this proposal will be to determine enantiomeric ratios of a suite of monoterpenes by GC-MS for comparison with the emerging technique of cavity ringdown technology. This will be performed in the laboratory, in the vicinity (Botanical Garden of the University of Mainz) and in the field (Amazon forest research station).
There are hundreds of thousands of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the air we breathe. Despite being found at trace concentrations organic species are known to play key roles in atmospheric chemistry, supplying reactive carbon, nitrogen and radicals to the remote troposphere and thus influencing the global ozone budget of the troposphere. The sources, sinks, and chemistry of these species are the subject of much current research. The ORSUM group (Organic Reactive Species Understanding and Measurement), led by Dr. Jonathan Williams at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry aims to investigate atmospheric processes of global relevance through field measurements of VOC. Recently, the group has been focused on the chemistry of the natural background atmosphere including the marine boundary layer as well as tropical and boreal forests.