Aerosol nanoparticle formation has been identified as a significant source of ambient aerosol that may impact cloud properties and is considered a health threat. Our research aims at resolving the initial steps in the transition of (trace) vapors to the condensed phase in nanoparticles. Such phase transition processes constitute a vital link between molecular scale interactions and macroscopically relevant outcome.

Specifically we study:

Biogenic aerosol formation using small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS)

Nanoparticle growth mechanisms using a differential mobility analyzer (DMA) train

Heterogeneous nucleation using the versatile size analyzing nuclei counter (vSANC)

To a large extent the experiments are conducted in our laboratory at the Faculty of Physics, but we also participate frequently in international measurement campaigns.

Besides field measurements at the SMEAR II station in Hyytišlš, Finland, we have lately been at the synchrotrons Elettra in Triest, Italy, and at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland. We are actively participating in the CLOUD project which is dedicated to the study of ambient nanoparticle formation under precisely controlled chamber conditions.

The CLOUD chamber at CERN allows us to investigate specifically the influence of cosmic rays and trace amounts of vapors on nanoparticle formation.


Dr. Paul Winkler
Boltzmanngasse 5
1090 Vienna, Austria
Tel.:  +43-1-4277-73403
Email: paul.winkler[at]