Urban surfaces + light = ?

Last autumn, during my time as a postdoctoral researcher in Leipzig, Germany, I was part of a research team that measured the composition of ‘urban film’ or ‘urban grime’, the complex mixture of chemicals that forms on surfaces in polluted environments.

Although our experiment was simple—we placed glass beads in a sampler located in a high-traffic location in the Leipzig city centre, and then analyzed their composition as a function of atmospheric exposure time—the results are turning out to be really exciting, and the international news media agrees!

Click here to read what the BBC has to say about our work, and to find out how photochemical reactions on buildings can influence urban air quality!

— Sarah