Bristol Aerosol Research Centre

Light scattering by aerosol in the atmosphere impacts visibility and climate

Research at the Bristol Aerosol Research Centre (BARC) is focussed on improving our understanding of the physical and chemical properties of aerosols at a single particle level. Aerosols play important roles in a broad range of disciplines including atmospheric science, the delivery of drugs to the lungs, the formation of structured micro- and nano-particles, and combustion science.

We use advanced techniques to capture and manipulate individual particles, 400 nm to 100 μm in diameter, using light or charge and probe processes occuring on timescales spanning from microseconds to days.

The School of Chemistry is also the hub for the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Aerosol Science, led by Prof. Jonathan Reid. You can find out more about at the CDT website

World-class facilities

BARC is based in recently refurbished laboratory and office space in the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol,one of the largest chemistry departments in the United Kingdom and an internationally recognised centre of excellence in both teaching and research.

Collaborations with other researchers at Bristol in colloid science, molecular science and atmospheric chemistry are complemented with collaborators around the UK and internationally.

What are aerosols?

Aerosols are solid particles or liquid droplets dispersed in a gas. They influence health, visibility, and climate and are used in the delivery of drugs to the lungs, the fabrication of nano-structures in spray drying, and the delivery of fuels.

The research group

BARC is made up of researchers from the UK, Canada, the US, South Korea, Italy and Spain. 

Find out about joining BARC.


  • Congratulations to Jonathan Reid and all of the team leading the bid for an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in aerosol science. EPSRC make the formal announcement today that it has been funded. 4 February 2019.
  • Congratulations to Mara, Allen, Richard and Jonathan for their recent paper on viabilaity of bacteria in aerosol, highlighted in this week's edition of the BBC Radio 4's Inside Science. 31 January 2019.

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