Study level

  • PhD
  • Master of Philosophy
  • Honours
  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Stephen Blanksby
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Infrastructure)/Principal Research Fellow (Mass Spectrometry)
Division / Faculty
Academic Division
Dr Berwyck Poad
Senior Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science

External supervisors

  • Prof. Adam Trevitt (UOW)
  • Prof. Evan Bieske (Uni Melb)


Bromine and iodine are suspected to be responsible for most of the halogen-induced ozone loss in the stratosphere but are not currently included in atmospheric models due to a paucity of knowledge of the gas-phase chemistry and photochemistry of their anions and radicals.

This project will develop and deploy advanced mass spectrometry and laser spectroscopy techniques to enable precision measurements of the reactions and photo- reactions of gas-phase iodide and bromide anions and their oxides.

These state-of-the-art measurements of reaction kinetics and products will enable accurate chemical models that predict the impact of bromine and iodine chemistry on ozone levels and will inform future models for global climate.

Research activities

Students working on this project will develop new skills in:

  • advanced mass spectrometry, including,
    • conducting gas phase ion-molecule reactions
    • laser-photodissociation of gaseous ions.

In parallel students will gain experience in the application of advanced quantum chemical calculations to elucidate the structure and energetics of ions in the gas phase.


Discoveries made in these projects will have a significant impact on our understanding of the chemistry and physics of Earth's atmosphere, particularly the role(s) of the halogens bromine and iodine that could be responsible for up to 72% of halogen-induced ozone loss in the stratosphere.

You will develop your hands-on skills in advanced instrumentation (including mass spectrometers and laser systems), providing you with a competitive advantage in a range of challenging and exciting career paths in science, technology, industry and government.



Contact the supervisor for more information.