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Allison C. Aiken

Allison Aiken

Phone (505) 665-6597


  • Chemical Science
  • Analytical chemistry
  • Biological chemistry
  • Organic chemistry
  • Physical chemistry
  • Energetic materials
  • Mass spectrometers
  • Computational chemistry
  • Materials chemistry
  • Separations chemistry
  • Earth and Space Sciences
  • Upper atmosphere
  • Atmospheric chemistry
  • Sensor technology
  • Aerosols
  • Carbon fluxes
  • Acoustic sensing
  • Science of Signatures - Remote and Standoff Sensing
  • Acoustic sensing and sensors
  • Ground-based sensing and sensors
  • Integration of sensors
  • Acoustic sensing
  • Aerosols
  • Clouds
  • Science of Signatures - In Situ Measurements
  • Protein nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
  • SensorNexus: Chemistry
  • Nitrogen Oxide Sensor
  • Non methane Hydrocarbon Sensor
  • Earth and Space Sciences
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Atmospheric Boundary Layer
  • Atmospheric transport and dispersion


Research Statement: Harnessing state-of-the-art aerosol and trace gas signatures using direct measurements to reduce uncertainties of aerosols and cloud processes in Earth enerygy systems.

Collaborative and interdisciplinary science to solve emerging National Security challenges.

Publications: h-index of 32, ~8000 citations

Experience: ~15 years of experience in experimental and atmospheric chemistry

  • Specializing in single particle and in situ aerosol measurements and their complex data analysis, including aerosol mass spectrometry, single particle laser-induced incandescence, photoacoustic spectroscopy, etc.
  • 10+ collaborative and international field campaigns, studying ambient aerosols and numerous laboratory measurements
  • Manage operations for ~40 aerosol and gas-phase instruments at one fixed location and for two mobile facilities for the U.S. DOE ARM Facility
  • Currently focused on the direct measurement of aerosol processes in the atmosphere to reduce aerosol and cloud feedback uncertainties in the Earth enerygy system
  • More details on ORCID

Aerosol Specialist and AOS Operations Manager for the U.S. DOE ARM Climate Research Facility



Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder, CO, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 2008

B.S., Furman University, Greenville, SC, Department of Chemistry, 2002

B.S., Furman University, Greenville, SC, Department of Biology, 2002


LANL Positions

Aerosol Specialist and Aerosol Observing Systems (AOS) Operations Manager for the Field Instrument Deployment & Operations (FIDO) Team and the U.S. DOE ARM Climate Research Facility, 2016 - Present

Mobile Aerosol Observing System (MAOS) Operations Manager for the FIDO Team and the U.S. DOE ARM Climate Research Facility, 2014 - 2016

Research Scientist II, Earth and Environmental Sciences, EES-14, 2013 - Present

Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Earth and Environmental Sciences, EES-14, 2011 - 2013

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Earth and Environmental Sciences, EES-14, 2010


Professional Societies

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR)

American Chemical Society (ACS)

American Geophysical Union (AGU)



Elected Chair, American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) Instrumentation Working Group, 2017 – Present

Aerosol Measurement Science Group Committee, U.S. DOE ARM Program, 2015 - Present

Elected Chair, American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) Early Career Committee, 2015 – 2017

The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds, Thomson Reuters, 2014

Large Team Distinguished Performance Award, LANL, 2014

Los Alamos National Laboratory Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2011 – 2013

Atmospheric Science Collaborations and Enriching NeTworks (ASCENT) Workshop, 2011

Atmospheric Chemistry Colloquium for Emerging Senior Scientists (ACCESS), 2009

NASA Group Achievement Award for the Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment (INTEX-B), 2006

NASA Earth System Science (EES) Graduate Student Fellowship, 2004 – 2007

Analytical Chemistry Laboratory Teaching Award, CU Department of Chemistry, 2004

General Chemistry Teaching Award, CU Department of Chemistry, 2004



Full links and citations @Google Scholar

* 5 Highly-cited (top 1% in the field, 3 of which are 1st-Author

(41) S. Gomez, C. Carrico, C. Allen, J. Lam, S. Dabli, A.C. Aiken, T. Rahn, D. Romonosky, P. Chylek, S. Sevanto, and M. Dubey. Southwestern U.S. biomass burning smoke hygroscopicity: the role of plant phenology, chemistry and combustion properties. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, submitted, 2018.

(40) C. Carrico, S. Bixler, M. Dubey and A.C. Aiken. Low Hygroscopicity of ambient fresh carbonaceous aerosols from pyrotechnics smoke. Atmospheric Environment, in press, 2018.

(39) S. Martin, ... A.C. Aiken, et al. The Green Ocean Amazon Experiment (GoAmazon2014/15) Observes Pollution Affecting Gases, Aerosols, Clouds, and Rainfall over the Rain Forest. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 98 (5), 981-997, 2017.

(38) X. Wang, C.L. Heald, A.J. Sedlacek, S.S. de Sa, S.T. Martin, M.L. Alexander, T.B. Watson, A.C. Aiken, S.R. Springston, and P. Artaxo. Deriving Brown Carbon from Multi-Wavelength Absorption Measurements: Method and Application to AERONET and Surface Observations. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16 (19), 12733-12752, 2016.

(37) A.C. Aiken, G.R McMeeking, E.J.T. Levin, M.K. Dubey, P.J. DeMott, S.M. Kreidenweis. Quantification of online removal of refractory black carbon using laser-induced incandescence in the single particle soot photometer. Aerosol Science & Technology, 50 (7), 679-692, 2016.

(36) G. Kulkarni, S. China, S. Liu, M. Nandasiri, N. Sharma, J. Wilson, A.C. Aiken, D. Chand, A. Laskin, C. Mazzoleni, M. Pekour, J. Shilling, V. Shutthanandan, A. Zelenyuk, R.A. Zaveriet. Ice Nucleation activity of diesel soot particles at Cirrus relevant temperature conditions: Effects of hydration, secondary organics coating, soot morphology, and coagulation. Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (7), 3580-3588, 2016.

(35) L. Xu, L.R. Williams, D.E. Young, J.D. Allan, H. Coe, P. Massoli, E. Fortner, P. Chhabra, S. Herndon, W.A. Brooks, J.T. Jayne, D.R. Worsnop, A.C. Aiken, et al. Wintertime aerosol chemical composition, volatility, and spatial variability in the greater London area. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16, 1139-1160, 2016.

(34) S. China, G. Kulkarni, B.V. Scarnato, N. Sharma, M. Pekour, J.E. Shilling, J. Wilson, A. Zelenyuk, D. Chand, S. Liu, A.C. Aiken, et al. Morphology of diesel soot residuals from supercooled water droplets and ice crystals: implications for optical properties. Environmental Research Letters 10 (11), 114010, 2015.

(33) S. Liu, A.C. Aiken, et al. Enhanced light absorption by internally mixed atmospheric black carbon in U. K. Nature Communications, 6, 8435, 2015.

(32) R. Saleh, E.S. Robinson, D.T. Tkacik, A. Ahern, S. Liu, A.C. Aiken et al. Brownness of organics in biomass burning aerosols linked to their black carbon content. Nature Geoscience, 7, 647-650, 2014.

(31) S.I. Bohnenstegnel, S.E. Belcher, A.C. Aiken et al. Meteorology, air quality, and health in London: The ClearfLo project. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 96, 779-804, 2015.

(30) S. Liu, A.C. Aiken, C. Arata, M.K. Dubey, C.E. Stockwell, R.J. Yokelson, E.A. Stone, T. Jayarathne, A.L. Robinson, P.J. DeMott, and S.M. Kreidenweis. Aerosol single scattering albedo dependence on biomass combustion efficiency: Laboratory and field studies. Geophysical Research Letters, 2014, 41(2), 742-748.

(29) J. Ortega, A. Turnipseed, A.B. Guenther, T.G. Karl, D.A. Day, D. Gochis, J.A. Huffman, A.J. Prenni, E.J.T. Levin, S.M. Kreidenweis, P.J. DeMott, Y. Tobo, E.G. Patton, A. Hodzic, Y. Cui, P.C. Harley, R.H. Hornbrook, E.C. Apel, R.K. Monson, A.S.D. Eller, J.P. Greenberg, M. Barth, P. Campuzano-Jost, B.B. Palm, J.L. Jimenez, A.C. Aiken, M.K. Dubey, et al. Overview of the Manitou Experimental Forest Observatory: site description and selected science results from 2008–2013. Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 2014, 1647-1709.

(28) S. China, C. Mazzoleni, K. Gorkowski, A.C. Aiken, and M.K. Dubey. Morphology and Mixing State of Individual Freshly Emitted Wildfire Carbonaceous Particles. Nature Comm., 2013, 4, 2122.

(27) C. Mohr, F.D. Lopez-Hilfiker, P. Zotter, A.S.H. Prevot, N.L. Ng, L. Xu, S.C. Herndon, L.R. Williams, J.P. Franklin, M.S. Zahniser, D.R. Worsnop, W.B. Knighton, A.C. Aiken, K.J. Gorkowski, M.K. Dubey, and J.A. Thornton. Contribution of nitrated aromatics to wood burning brown carbon light absorption in Detling, UK during winter time. Environmental Science & Technology, 47 (12), 6316-6324.

(26) I.M. Ulbrich, M.R. Canagaratna, M.J. Cubison, Q. Zhang, N.L. Ng, A.C. Aiken, and J.L. Jimenez. Three-dimensional factorization of size-resolved organic aerosol mass spectra from Mexico City. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 5, 195-224, 2012.

(25) K.S. Docherty, A.C. Aiken, J.A. Huffman, et al. The 2005 Study of Organic Aerosols at Riverside (SOAR-1): instrumental intercomparisons and fine particle composition. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 12387-12420, 2011.

(24) J. Duplissy, P.F. DeCarlo, J. Dommen, M.R. Alfarra, A.Metzger, I. Barmpadimos, A.S.H. Prevot, E. Weingartner, T. Tritscher, M. Gysel, A.C. Aiken, J.L. Jimenez, M.R.Canagaratna, D.R. Worsnop, D.R. Collins, J. Tomlinson and U. Baltensperger. Relating hygroscopicity and composition of organic aerosol particulate matter. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 11, 1155-1165, 2011.

(23) J. Wang, M.J. Cubison, A.C. Aiken, J.L. Jimenez, and D.R. Collins. The importance of aerosol mixing state and size-resolved composition on CCN concentration and the variation of the importance with atmospheric aging of aerosols. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 2010, 10, 7267-7283.

(22) D. Salcedo, T.B. Onasch, A.C. Aiken, L.R. Williams, B. de Foy, M.J. Cubison, D.R. Worsnop, L.T. Molina, and J.L. Jimenez. Determination of particulate lead during MILAGRO / MCMA-2006 using Aerosol Mass Spectrometry. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 10, 5371-5389, 2010.

*(21) A.C. Aiken, B. de Foy, C. Wiedinmyer, et al. Mexico City aerosol analysis during MILAGRO using high resolution aerosol mass spectrometry at the urban supersite (T0) – Part 2: Analysis of the biomass burning contribution and the modern carbon fraction. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 2010, 10, 5315-5341.  *25th most cited paper in ACP from 2010 (of 770 papers)*

(20) P.F. DeCarlo, I.M. Ulbrich, J. Crounse, B, de Foy, E.J. Dunlea, A.C. Aiken, D. Knapp, A.J. Weinheimer, T. Campos, P.O. Wennberg, and J.L. Jimenez. Investigation of the Sources and Processing of Organic Aerosol over the Central Mexican Plateau from Aircraft Measurements during MILAGRO. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 10, 5257-5280, 2010.

(19) C.L. Heald, J.H. Kroll, J.L. Jimenez, K.S. Docherty, P.F. DeCarlo, A.C. Aiken, Q. Chen, S.T. Martin, D.K.Farmer, P. Artaxo, A.J. Weinheimer. A simplified description of organic aerosol composition and implications for atmospheric aging. Geophys. Res. Lett., 2010, 37, L08803.

*(18) J.L. Jimenez, M.R. Canagaratna, N.M. Donahue, A.S.H. Prevot, Q. Zhang, J.H. Kroll, P.F. DeCarlo, J.D. Allan, H. Coe, N.L. Ng, A.C. Aiken, K.D. Docherty, I.M. Ulbrich, A.P. Grieshop, A.L. Robinson, J. Duplissy, J.D. Smith, et al. Evolution of Organic Aerosols in the Atmosphere. Science, 2009, 326, 1525-1529.

(17) E.J. Dunlea, P.F. DeCarlo, A.C. Aiken, et al. Evolution of Asian aerosols during transpacific transport in INTEX-B. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 2009, 9, 7257-7287.

(16) J. A. Huffman, K. S. Docherty, A.C. Aiken, M. J. Cubison, I. M. Ulbrich, P. F. DeCarlo, D. Sueper, J. T. Jayne, D. R. Worsnop, P. J. Ziemann, and J.L. Jimenez. Chemically-resolved aerosol volatility measurements from two megacity field studies. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 7161-7182, 2009.

(15) A. Hodzic, J. L. Jimenez, S. Madronich, A.C. Aiken, B. Bessagnet, G. Curci, J. Fast, J.-F. Lamarque, T. B. Onasch, G. Roux, J. J. Schauer, E.A. Stone, and I.M. Ulbrich. Modeling organic aerosols during MILAGRO: importance of biogenic secondary organic aerosols. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 6949-6981, 2009.

*(14) A.C. Aiken, D. Salcedo, M. J. Cubison, J. A. Huffman, et al. Mexico City aerosol analysis during MILAGRO using high resolution aerosol mass spectrometry at the urban supersite (T0) – Part 1: Fine particle composition and organic source apportionment. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 2009, 9, 6633-6653. *4th most cited paper in ACP from 2009 (of 611 papers)*

(13) J. Fast, A.C. Aiken, J. Allan, L. Alexander, T. Campos, et al. Evaluating simulated primary anthropogenic and biomass burning organic aerosols during MILAGRO: implications for assessing treatments of secondary organic aerosols. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 2009, 9, 6191-6215.

(12) H.L. DeWitt, M.G. Trainer, A.A. Pavlov, C.A. Hasenkopf, A. C. Aiken, J.L. Jimenez, C.P. McKay, O.B. Toon, and M.A. Tolbert. Reduction in Haze Formation Rate on Prebiotic Earth in the Presence of Hydrogen. Astrobiology, 9(5), 447-453, 2009.

(11) G. Paredes-Miranda, W. P. Arnott, J. L. Jimenez, A.C. Aiken, J. S. Gaffney, and N. A. Marley. Primary and secondary contributions to aerosol light scattering and absorption in Mexico City during the MILAGRO 2006 campaign. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 3721-3730, 2009.

(10) C. Mohr, J.A. Huffman, M.J. Cubison, A.C. Aiken, K.S. Docherty, J.R. Kimmel, I.M. Ulbrich, M. Hannigan, J. Garcia, and J.L. Jimenez. Characterization of Primary Organic Aerosol Emissions from Meat Cooking, Trash Burning, and Motor Vehicles with High-Resolution Aerosol Mass Spectrometry and Comparison with Ambient and Chamber Observations. Environmental Science and Technology, 43, 2443-2449, 2009. (9) J.E. Shilling, Q. Chen, S.M. King, T. Rosenoern, J.H. Kroll, D.R. Worsnop, P.F. DeCarlo, A.C. Aiken, D. Sueper, J.L. Jimenez, and S.T. Martin. Loading-dependent elemental composition of alpha-pinene SOA particles. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 771-782, 2009.

(8) J. Zheng, R. Zhang, E. C. Fortner, R. M. Volkamer, L. Molina, A.C. Aiken, J.L. Jimenez, K. Gaeggeler, J. Dommen, S. Dusanter, P.S. Stevens, and X. Tie. Measurements of HNO3 and N2O5 using ion drift-chemical ionization mass spectrometry during the MILAGRO/MCMA-2006 campaign. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 6823-6838, 2008.

(7) P.F. Decarlo, E.J. Dunlea, J.R. Kimmel, A.C. Aiken, D. Sueper, J. Crounse, P.O. Wennberg, L. Emmons, Y. Shinozuka, A. Clarke, J. Zhou, J. Tomlinson, D. Collins, D. Knapp, A. Weinheimer, T. Campos, and J.L. Jimenez. Fast Airborne Aerosol Size and Chemistry Measurements with the High Resolution Aerosol Mass Spectrometer During the MILAGRO Campaign. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 8, 4027-4048, 2008. (6) C.L. Heald, A.H. Goldstein, J.D. Allan, A.C. Aiken, E. Apel, E.L. Atlas, A.K. Baker, T.S. Bates, A.J. Beyersdorf, D.R. Blake, T. Campos, H. Coe, J.D. Crounse, P.F. DeCarlo, J.A. de Gouw, E.J. Dunlea, F.M. Flocke, A. Fried, P. Goldan, R.J. Griffin, S.C. Herndon, J.S. Holloway, R. Holzinger, J.L. Jimenez, W. Junkermann, W.C. Kuster, A.C. Lewis, S. Meinardi, D.B. Millet, T. Onasch, A. Polidori, P.K. Quinn, D.D. Riemer, J.M. Roberts, D. Salcedo, B. Sive, A.L. Swanson, R. Talbot, C. Warneke, R.J. Weber, P. Weibring, P.O. Wennberg, A.E. Wittig, R. Zhang, J. Zheng, W. Zheng. Total Observed Organic Carbon (TOOC): A Synthesis of North American Observations. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 8, 2007-2025, 2008.

*(5) A.C. Aiken, P.F. DeCarlo, J.H. Kroll, D.R. Worsnop, et al. O/C and OM/OC Ratios of Primary, Secondary, and Ambient Organic Aerosols with High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometry. Environ. Sci. & Techn., 2008, 42, 4478–4485. *Most cited paper in ES&T since 2008 (of 14,900+ papers)*

(4) A.C. Aiken, P.F. DeCarlo, J.L. Jimenez. Elemental Analysis of Organic Species with Electron Ionization High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry. Anal. Chem., 2007, 79(21), 8350-8358.

*(3) P.F. DeCarlo, J.R. Kimmel, A. Trimborn, M.J. Northway, J.T. Jayne, A.C. Aiken, M. Gonin, K. Fuhrer, T. Horvath, K. Docherty, D.R. Worsnop, and J.L. Jimenez. Field-Deployable, High-Resolution, Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer. Analytical Chemistry, 78: 8281-8289, 2006.

(2) J.A. Huffman, J.T. Jayne, F. Drewnick, A.C. Aiken, T. Onasch, D.R. Worsnop, and J.L. Jimenez. Design, Modeling, Optimization, and Experimental Tests of a Particle Beam Width Probe for the Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer. Aerosol Science and Technology, 39(12): 1143-1163, 2005, doi: 10.1080/02786820500423782, 2005. (1) R.M. Garland, M.E. Wise, M.R. Beaver, H.L. DeWitt, A.C. Aiken, J.L. Jimenez, and M.A. Tolbert. Impact of palmitic acid coating on the water uptake and loss of ammonium sulfate particles. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 5, 1951-1961, 2005.