NBD Research Group (atmospheric chemistry)

The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
What the facility does

Research on organic molecules in the atmosphere/indoor air in the context of air quality and climate.

Areas of expertise

Atmospheric chemists and exposure scientists simulate the atmosphere in the laboratory to study chemical transformations related to human health and climate.

The NBD research group has an atmospheric organic chemistry expertise applied to the fields of indoor and outdoor air chemistry, photochemical oxidants, and of atmospheric ice nucleation. Our research is collaborative to allow us to ask big-picture questions with implications for air quality and climate. Our goal is to advance fundamental and innovative atmospheric research with anticipated benefits in health, environmental sustainability, indoor air quality mitigation and, importantly, in providing scientific data for evidence-based environmental and health exposure policies.

Research services
  • Photochemical oxidants
  • Atmospheric ice nucleation
  • Fate of indoor air molecules
  • Biogeochemistry of atmospheric selenium (Se)
Sectors of application
  • Chemical industries
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Forestry and forest-based industries
  • Mining, minerals and metals
  • Ocean industries



Vocus-S PTR–ToF Mass Spectrometer

Real time, highly sensitive, proton transfer reaction time-of-flight (PTR–ToF) mass spectrometry of air/gas samples.

Vocus-2R PTR-ToF Mass Spectrometer

Real time, highly sensitive, proton transfer reaction time of flight (PTR–ToF) mass spectrometry of air/gas samples. Vocus 2R has higher resolution than Vocus S, which allows for better peak separation.

Rayonet photochemical reaction chamber

A chamber which initiates photochemical reactions using UV light.

Drop Freezing Ice Nuclei Counter (FINC) (custom-built)

Immersion freezing instrument for measuring ice nucleation of aqueous samples. Data can be used to improve understanding of processes in mixed-phase clouds.

Smog Chamber (custom-built) and LEDs

Reaction chamber for the simulation of atmospheric and indoor gas phase chemistry.

Scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS)

An instrument system that separates the sizes of particles and counts the number of particles in an aerosol sample such as dust and wildfire smoke.

Coriolis Micro Impinger

Collects a sample aerosol into a water solution using the Coriolis effect.

Gas Chromatograph

Separates gases within a mixture. 

High Speed Cryo-Microscopy setup (custom-built)

Used to capture high speed video of ice nucleation in a single micro-droplet. Allows us to see where ice begins to form in a supercooled droplet.


  • NASA Atmospheric Emissions and Reactions Observed from Megacities to Marine Areas (AEROMMA)