Nils Hansen

Dr. Nils Hansen,  Combustion Chemistry

Dr. Nils Hansen,
Combustion Chemistry


Since April 2004:

  • Staff Combustion Research Facility, Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA, USA
  • Flame Chemistry and Diagnostics Laboratory

Aug. 2012- Dec. 2012 and Dec. 2008- Jan. 2009:

  • Visiting Scientist, Universität Bielefeld, Germany
  • Flame-Sampling Molecular-Beam Mass Spectrometry of partially premixed and diffusion flames 
  • Host: Prof. Dr. K. Kohse-Höinghaus

August 2003 – March 2004:

  • Staff Scientist (Laborleiter), BASF AG, Ludwigshafen, Germany
  • Physical Properties of Melamine-Urea-Formaldehyde Resins

January 2001 – July 2003:

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California at Santa Barbara, CA, USA
  • Snapshots in Chemistry: Product Imaging of Molecular Reactions
  • Host: Prof. A. M. Wodtke

Research Interests

Since joining Sandia’s Combustion Research Facility in 2004 as the principal investigator in the “Flame Chemistry and Diagnostics Laboratory”, Dr. Hansen has devoted his scientific career towards a molecular-level understanding of combustion chemistry. Employing Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source, he is studying the combustion chemistry of premixed laminar flames fueled by hydrocarbons and oxygenated fuels. Dr. Hansen’s work has focused on the formation of the so-called first-aromatic ring. With this part of the soot-formation being now well understood, Dr. Hansen is currently expanding his lab’s capabilities to study the chemistry of larger polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and on the chemical composition of soot particles. Another research project focuses on the low-temperature, high-pressure combustion processes in jet-stirred reactors.


January 2001

  • Promotion to Dr. rer. nat.
  • Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Germany

September 1995 –December 2000

  • Ph. D. Thesis
  • Department of Physical Chemistry, Universität Kiel, Germany
  • Set-up of a Molecular Beam-Fourier Transform-Microwave Spectrometer and Analysis of  High Resolution Spectra of Free Radicals
  • Advisor: Prof. F. Temps

September 1999 – December 1999

  • Visiting Scientist
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, USA
  • Frequency-Modulation Transient Absorption Spectroscopy
  • Host: Dr. T. J. Sears

September 1995

  • Diploma Degree in Chemistry
  • Thesis: 33S Nuclear Quadrupole Coupling and Internal Rotation Effects in the Microwave Spectrum of Methylthiocyanate
  • Advisor: Prof. H. Mäder

1990 – 1995

  • Study of Chemistry at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Germany

Selected Publications

The Predictive Capability of an Automatically Generated Combustion Chemistry Mechanism: Chemical Structures of Premixed iso-Butanol Flames

N. Hansen, S. S. Merchant, M. R. Harper, W. H. Green

Combust. Flame, 2013, 160(11), 2343-2351


Near-Threshold Photoionization Mass Spectra of Combustion-Generated High-Molecular-Weight Soot Precursors

S. A. Skeen, H. A. Michelsen, K. R. Wilson, D. M. Popolan, A. Violi, N. Hansen

J. Aerosol Sci., 2013, 58(1), 86-102


Studies of Laminar Opposed-Flow Diffusion Flames of Acetylene at Low Pressures with Photoionization Mass Spectrometry

S. A. Skeen, B. Yang, H. A. Michelsen, J. A. Miller, A. Violi, N. Hansen

Proc. Combust. Inst., 2013, 34(1), 1067-1075


Exploring Formation Pathways of Aromatic Compounds in Laboratory-Based Model Flames of Aliphatic Fuels

N. Hansen, J. A. Miller, S. J. Klippenstein, P. R. Westmoreland, K. Kohse-Höinghaus

Combust. Expl. Shock Waves, 2012, 48(5), 508-515


Fuel-Structure Dependence of Benzene Formation Processes in Premixed Flames Fueled by C6H12 Isomers

N. Hansen, T. Kasper, B. Yang, T. A. Cool, W. Li, P. R. Westmoreland, P. Oßwald, K. Kohse-Höinghaus

Proc. Combust. Inst., 2011, 33(1), 585-592


Biofuel Combustion Chemistry: From Ethanol to Biodiesel

K. Kohse-Höinghaus, P. Oßwald, T. A. Cool, T. Kasper, N. Hansen, F. Qi, C. K. Westbrook, P. R. Westmoreland

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2010, 49(21), 3572-3597


Recent Contributions of Flame-Sampling Molecular-Beam Mass Spectrometry to a Fundamental Understanding of Combustion Chemistry

N. Hansen, T. A. Cool, P. R. Westmoreland, K. Kohse-Höinghaus

Prog. Energy Combust. Sci., 2009, 35(2), 168-191


Identification and Chemistry of C4H3 and C4H5 Isomers in Fuel-Rich Flames

N. Hansen, S. J. Klippenstein, C. A. Taatjes, J. A. Miller, J. Wang, T. A. Cool, B. Yang, R. Yang, L. Wei, C. Huang, J. Wang, F. Qi, M. E. Law, P. R. Westmoreland

J. Phys. Chem. A, 2006, 110(10), 3670-3678


Photofragment Translational Spectroscopy of ClN3: Determination of the primary and secondary Dissociation Pathways

N. Hansen, A. M. Wodtke, J. C. Robinson, N. E. Sveum, S. J. Goncher, D. M. Neumark

J. Chem. Phys. 2005, 123(10), 104305-1 – 104305-11


Velocity Map Ion Imaging of Chlorine Azide Photolysis: Evidence for Photolytic Production of cyclic-N3

N. Hansen, A. M. Wodtke

J. Phys. Chem. A 2003, 107(49), 10608-10614


The Rotational Spectrum of Dichlorocarbene C35Cl2 observed by Molecular Beam-Fourier Transform Microwave Spectroscopy

N. Hansen, H. Mäder, F. Temps

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2001, 3(1), 50-55


Analysis of Internal Rotations in Ethyl Nitrite using Molecular Beam Fourier Transform Microwave Spectroscopy

N. Hansen, F. Temps, H. Mäder, N. W. Larsen

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 1999, 1(14), 3219-3233


Sandia National Laboratories
CaliforniaP.O. Box 969
CA 94551-0969
Phone: 925-294-6272