Dr Joseph Beames
The research in this group seeks to probe important atmospheric, physical and analytical chemistry problems using UV-Vis and infrared spectroscopic techniques. The key goals are to sensitively and quantitatively detect trace gases and reactive intermediates, and to begin to probe the nucleation and chemical composition of particulate matter (aerosols).
Accurate monitoring of trace gases has a variety of important real-world applications ranging from biomedical sensing to explosives detection and the determination of the chemical makeup of the atmosphere. The Beames group aims to develop spectrometers for use in each of each of these areas; providing highly sensitive real time detection of many different chemical species. In addition, these spectrometers will be combined with state of the art optical trapping techniques in an attempt to provide new insights into particulate matter formation and composition.
Science, 2014, 345(6204), 1596: "Infrared-driven unimolecular reaction of CH3CHOO Criegee intermediates to OH radical products"
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134(49), 20045: "Ultraviolet Spectrum and Photochemistry of the Simplest Criegee Intermediate CH2OO"
J. Chem. Phys., 2011, 134, 241102: "A new spectroscopic window on hydroxyl radicals using UV+VUV resonant ionization"J. Atm. Chem. 2007, 58, 69: "Measurement of IO concentrations in the marine boundary layer using a cavity ring-down spectrometer"
B.Sc. Chemistry, University of Bristol (2002-2005); M.Sc. by Research in Chemistry, University of Bristol (2005-2006, Prof. A.J. Orr-Ewing); Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Bristol (2006-2010, Dr A.J. Hudson); Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania (2010-2013, Prof. M.I. Lester); Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania (2013-2015, Prof. M.I. Lester). Appointed Cardiff University Research Fellow 2015.
The Beames group is focused on tackling important atmospheric and physical chemistry problems using both UV-Vis and infrared spectroscopic techniques.
The last two hundred years have seen new anthropogenic emissions dramatically change the chemical composition and chemistry of the troposphere, creating an incredibly diverse set of atmospheric conditions based on location and level of human population. Much of what we know about the changing climate comes from carefully constructed atmospheric models. These models often comprise thousands of competing chemical reactions which can be used to predict global chemical concentrations. However, such models rely on accurate laboratory studies of the underlying reaction rates and outcomes. As such we must develop tools suitable for undertaking such experiments. The Beames group aims to develop spectrometers that will provide sensitive trace gas measurements for use in these types of laboratory experiments. In addition the group will focus on creating gas phase spectrometers capable of high chemical selectivity, such that the concentration of many different compounds can be monitored in real time. The selectivity provided by these spectrometers will also be employed in the detection of novel explosives (many of which are very volatile and susceptible to gas phase detection) and also in medical sensing.
The group will also investigate the chemical properties and composition of small particulate matter. Such particulate has a dramatic impact on human health, introducing chemicals into the respiratory tract and lungs. This can be detrimental in polluted environments, where the particulate can induce asthma attacks or deposit harmful chemicals into the body. In contrast, carefully constructed and controlled aerosolized particulate can be used as a drug delivery source, in many cases being used to alleviate the very problems (such as asthma) that particulates may have induced. While much is already known about these aerosols, there is still much research to be undertaken in trying to monitor the chemical composition of different aerosolized particulate without destroying or altering the particulate in the process. The Beames group also seeks to use spectrometric tools, in conjunction with novel techniques such as optical trapping, to investigate the formation of aerosol particulate matter on the sub-micron scale where there is little existing scientific data.