Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry

Welcome to
the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry

Research at the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry advances understanding of atmospheric trace gas and aerosol chemistry, atmosphere/biosphere exchange of trace gases, and long term changes in atmospheric composition and chemistry - from the laboratory to the field and at local to global scales.

Over more than 20 years, we have established the most intensive atmospheric composition and chemistry research and training program in Australian universities. We collaborate widely in Australian and international atmospheric science communities including other universities, CSIRO, ANSTO, BOM, federal and state government departments and international networks.

Recent CAC News

January 2019: Members of CAC checked out the location of the new atmospheric platform on top of the Molecular Horizon’s building – agreeing the last details before the concrete floor was poured!

December 2018 - February 2019: Over the summer, CAC hosted three undergraduate researchers. Chris Nelson has been undertaking a SMAH Summer Scholar project with Nicholas Deutscher working on atmospheric AirCore profiling. Chris is a recent chemistry graduate from the University of Queensland. He has been joined in laboratory and field testing and sampling by Alex Carter, a 2nd/3rd year undergraduate chemistry intern. Chris and Alex have been developing the horizontal AirCore sampling technique to improve precision and reduce the effects of contamination. They have also been sampling in situ in the Wollongong area, exploring methane hotspots, as well as testing components for upcoming balloon-borne AirCore launches. Brittany Walker, who recently completed her 1st year in Atmospheric Science, has been working as an intern with Jenny Fisher, updating and modernising the software package used to benchmark the GEOS-Chem mercury model.

December 2018: CAC Director Clare Murphy was promoted to Professor and CAC researcher Nicholas Deutscher was promoted to Senior Research Fellow.

December 2018: A new paper led by CAC researcher Jenny Fisher was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. The authors used 20 years of measurements collected from aircraft, combined with a chemical transport model, to determine the abundance and impacts of small alkyl nitrates. These are nitrogen-containing compounds that break down slowly and so stay in the atmosphere long enough to be transported to otherwise pollution‐free remote ocean regions. This research was conducted using the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) national supercomputer Raijin, and was profiled in an NCI Research Highlight.

For more updates from CAC, check out our What's Cool page.

CAC Research Themes


Trace Gas Measurements: 

Determining the amounts, sources and sinks of atmospheric trace gases with solar remote sensing, in situ and flux measurements, including operating two sites in the TCCON and NDACC networks.


Modelling and Analysis: 

Using global models and developing advanced analysis methods to interpret measurements, probe datasets, and test theories of atmospheric composition and chemistry.


Laser Photochemistry and Spectroscopy: 

Investigating photodissociation action spectroscopy, radical chemistry and microdroplet dynamics using pulsed-laser spectroscopy and mass spectrometry techniques.


Fire Emissions: 

Using remote-sensing spectrometric techniques to quantify emissions from vegetation fires to the atmosphere.


Agricultural Emissions: 

Developing and applying novel techniques to measure greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural practices and identifying effective strategies to mitigate emissions from the industry.

Radiation - SIPEX

Solar Radiation and Aerosols: 

Following changes in particles in the atmosphere to understand their impact, formation, and fate.