Leila N. Hawkins

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

B.A., University of California, San Diego
Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography

The Hawkins lab is focused on the chemistry of air pollution, specifically particulate air pollution. The lab has a sampling system to collect atmospheric aerosol particles (like smog), measure the UV/vis absorption spectrum of discrete samples, and measure the total organic carbon content of the particles. Understanding how air pollution particles interact with light a key problem in addressing climate change. Samples are then analyzed by other techniques (like LC-MS or FTIR spectrosocpy) to elucidate the composition of the organic components which aids in determining their sources.In addition to measuring pollution samples in bulk, the Hawkins lab is interested in looking at individual pollution particles to get very detailed shape and chemical composition information. Single-particle morphology and composition for atmospheric aerosol measurements require special facilities off-campus. In lieu of this resource, the lab is working on developing an automated sampler for collecting chemical force microscopy (CFM) samples and a method to apply CFM to atmospheric samples.

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