Facility description and equipment

Atmospheric simulation chamber
A stainless steel atmospheric simulation chamber (volume approximately 2.2 m3) is operated at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Genoa (INFN-Genova, www.ge.infn.it) in collaboration with the Environmental Physics Laboratory at the Physics Department of Genoa University (www.labfisa.ge.infn.it). 

ChAMBRe  presents unique characteristics in the Italian scientific framework and is  with a set of instruments/tools for atmospheric measurements, in particular:

  • Relative humidity, temperature and pressure gauges
  • Gas and aerosol inlets (BLAM, COLLISON adn SLAG by CH-Technologies)  
  • Vacuum system (down to 10-5 mbar)
  • Sampling ports for filters, impactors and continuous samplers
  • Light source reproducing the solar spectrum (in progress)
  • Gas analyzers (O3, NOx, CO/CO2, SOx, BTX) 
  • Real-time aerosol monitoring (OPC-Grimm, OPS & SMPS- TSI)
  • Bioaerosol on-line spectrometer: WIBS-NEO
  • 3-λ photo-acoustic system (PAXS, Droplet Measurements & Technologies, λ =870, 532, 405 nm)
  • Aerosol samplers (Battelle Cascade impactor, 13-stage Nano-Moudi rotating cascade impactor for size segregated analysis)
  • Bio-aerosol-specific samplers (Andersen-type cascade impactor , liquid impingers)
  • Automatized petri-slides exposer
  • Soot generator: Miniature Inverted Soot Generator, Argonaut Scientific Corporation.

Laboratory facilities

Several techniques for the off-line aerosol characterization are already available on site (see also the instrumentation list at labfisa/instrumentation) :

  • Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (ED-XRF) and PIXE (at the LABEC facility of INFN-Florence);
  • Ion Chromatography for anions, cations and sugars;
  • Multi-wavelength optical system (MWAA) for non-destructive determination of Black and Brown Carbon (see Massabò et al., Atmos. Environ., 2015);
  • Thermo-optical analyzer of TC/OC/EC

Specific tools for the analysis of biological aerosol viability and non-viability characteristics and morphological properties include:

  • basic biological lab equipment allowing for culture analysis in vitro (isolation, identification, growth) and biochemical tests (e.g. catalase and oxidase):  autoclave (Asal mod.760), vortex, centrifuge and microcentrifuge (Eppendorf centrifuge 5417R), water purification system Milli-Q (Millipore-Elix), incubator for temperature control Ecocell and Friocell MMM Group, Steril-VBH Compact “microbiological safety” cabinet, Thermo electron corporation steri-cycle HEPA Class 100 incubator;
  • light and phase-contrast microscopes (Olympus CK2, Nikon Eclipse E200) for microorganisms size, shape, colony morphology characterization;
  • optical microscope (Nikon Eclipse TE300) for bacterial detection and live/dead discrimination by epifluorescence with specific dyes and for immunoassay fluorescence to label antigenic bacterial target, fluorescent molecule or enzyme 


Team composition

Prof. Paolo Prati, physicist

Mr. Vincenzo Ariola, electronics technician

Dr. Marco Brunoldi, physicist

Ms. Silvia Giulia Danelli, PhD student in chemistry

Mrs. Elena Gatta, biologist

Dr. Dario Massabò, materials scientist  

Mr. Franco Parodi, mechanical designer

Ms. Virginia Vernocchi, PhD student in physics