Faculty Profile

Vicki H. Grassian

Professor/Chair, NanoEngineering
Faculty, NanoEngineering

Applications and implications of nanoscience and nanotechnology in environmental processes; aerosol chemistry and climate.

Applications and Implications of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Environmental Processes: Nanoscience and nanotechnology have potential use in a number of applications – including in environmental remediation and energy. In collaboration with colleagues, we are investigating how nanomaterials can be used in a number of applications related to these topics. Another aspect of our work is in the implications of nanoscience and nanotechnology and the environmental consequences of nanomaterials. Our studies are focused on the behavior of nanomaterials in environmentally and biologically relevant media. Additionally, we are collaborating with colleagues to better understand the potential health effects of manufactured nanomaterials should they become suspended in air.

Aerosol chemistry and climate: It has become increasingly clear that all kinds of particles - including ice, sea spray and mineral dust - are present in the Earth's atmosphere and that the surfaces of these particles play a role in the chemistry of the atmosphere ‘s and the Earth’s climate. In the Grassian research group, we are using a combination of surface spectroscopy, microscopy and particle analysis to gain a fundamental understanding of these important surface reactions. The Grassian research group collaborates with scientists in the Center of Aerosol Impacts on Chemistry and Climate (CAICE). CAICE utilizes a unique ocean in a lab approach to better understand the chemistry of sea spray aerosol.

Capsule Bio:

Vicki Grassian joined the Department of NanoEngineering at the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering as a Distinguished Professor in 2016. She is also affiliated with the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Prior to joining UCSD, she was a distinguished member of the faculty at the University of Iowa for twenty-five years. She went to UC Berkeley where she obtained her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry. She has over 250 peer-reviewed publications, in a wide range of journals spanning nanoscience, chemistry, atmosphere, environment, materials and engineering.


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