Microbiology and atmospheric processes: biological, physical and chemical characterization of aerosol particles
Abstract. The interest in bioaerosols has traditionally been linked to health hazards for humans, animals and plants. However, several components of bioaerosols exhibit physical properties of great significance for cloud processes, such as ice nucleation and cloud condensation. To gain a better understanding of their influence on climate, it is therefore important to determine the composition, concentration, seasonal fluctuation, regional diversity and evolution of bioaerosols. In this paper, we will review briefly the existing techniques for detection, quantification, physical and chemical analysis of biological particles, attempting to bridge physical, chemical and biological methods for analysis of biological particles and integrate them with aerosol sampling techniques. We will also explore some emerging spectroscopy techniques for bulk and single-particle analysis that have potential for in-situ physical and chemical analysis. Lastly, we will outline open questions and further desired capabilities (e.g., in-situ, sensitive, both broad and selective, on-line, time-resolved, rapid, versatile, cost-effective techniques) required prior to comprehensive understanding of chemical and physical characterization of bioaerosols.