Physico-Chemistry of the atmosphere


Denis Petitprez

Laure Pillier

The team

The scientific activities of the research team "Physicochemistry of the Atmosphere" focus on the study of the processes governing the formation and chemical transformation of species in the gas and particle phases in the troposphere. These studies aim at understanding and quantifying the impacts of these fundamental mechanisms on climate change and on indoor and outdoor air quality.

The team initiates or participates in field measurement and instrument intercomparison campaigns. The results of its research are used to feed atmospheric chemistry models from the mesoscale to the global scale.

The team's staff mainly develops :

  •     laboratory techniques to study the fundamental mechanisms of reactivity in homogeneous and heterogeneous phases.
  •     optical metrology equipment to detect radical species
  •     instruments for the measurement of fine and ultra-fine particles and their optical and hygroscopic properties.
  •     multi-sensor systems for the measurement of atmospheric pollutants



Team Members

Researchers CNRS and Professor: Fittschen Christa (DR), Hanoune Benjamin (CR, HDR), Faccinetto Alessandro (CR), Pillier Laure (CR, HDR), Petitprez Denis (PR), Schoemaecker Coralie (CR)


Staff BIATSS-Lille and ITA-CNRS: Sébastien Batut (IE CNRS), Valentine Bizet (AI CDD U. Lille), Sylvie Gosselin (IE U. Lille), Amaury Lahccen (IE CNRS)

Post-doctorant.e.s et ATER:

Visitor: Chuanliang Li de Taiyuan University of Science and Technology

PhD students: Jeyan Bichon (2024*), Emilie Chantraine (ED SMRE/region HdF, 2026*), Maria Chehab (2025*), Sabah Mostafa (2025*), Valisoa Rakotonirinjanahary (CIFRE SNCF, 2025*), Cuihong ZHANG (Chinese Scholarship Council, 2023*),

(* Expected PhD defense)

Know-How and Main equipments

  • Kinetic measurements in laboratory reactors coupled with LIF (Laser Induced Fluorescence) and cw-CRDS (continuous wave-Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy) techniques
  • Development and deployment of the FAGE (Fluorescence Assay by Gas Expansion) device for atmospheric measurements of radicals: quantification and reactivity
  • Gas measurements: GC-MS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry), gas analysers (ozone, nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde and nitrous acid)
  • Aerosol metrology and reactivity: SMPS (Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer), APS (Aerosol Particle Sizer), mass spectrometer, CCNc (Cloud Condensation Nuclei Counter), Aerosol Flow Photochemical Reactor
  • Aerosol optical properties measurements by FTIR (Fourier Transform InfraRed) and UV-visible spectrometry
  • Development of miniature sensor arrays for the measurement of gaseous and particulate pollutants