Team Members

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An Interdisciplinary Team

We are a group of well mixed people, with expertise on astrochemistry (observations and theory), astronomical instrumentation, and experimental physics. We can count on collaborators at the University of Concepción, working on mechanical engineering (fundamental for the design and the development of specific parts of the instrument), and quantum optics, providing a solid basis for the optical setup. A mix of theorists and experimentalists is crucial for the success of this project, this is why we have a solid collaboration with the quantum chemistry group at UdeC. In addition, we have the support of outstanding colleagues from Germany and UK, who are considered some of the best in mass-spectrometry experiments and astrochemistry.

Principal Investigators


Stefano Bovino

Lead Investigator of the Cosmic Dust Experiment, and Head of the UdeC Astrochemistry Group, he works at the interface among chemistry and astronomy. Expertise in theoretical and observational astrochemistry with focus on star-forming regions.

Quantum Optics

Pablo Solano

Expertise in quantum optics, with particular focus on optical nanofiber. He is a valuable support for the design and testing of the optical system that will be employed to measure the mass of the trapped particles.

Laboratory Astrophysics

Nicolas Martinez

Nico is an outstanding student, with passion on laboratory astrophysics and astronomical instrumentation. He spent his undergraduate thesis time in the Cepia Lab with Rodrigo and started his PhD in 2020 under the supervision of Stefano and Rodrigo to build the Cosmic Dust Experiment.

Main Collaborators


Rodrigo Reeves

Expertise in eletrical engineering and astronomical instrumentation. Head of the Center para la instrumentacion astronomica (CePIA), is contributing to the laboratory development providing logistical and technical support.

Mechanical Engineering

Cristian Canales

Expertise in engineering design and mechanical test. Cristian is participating to the Cosmic Dust Experiment providing help for the mechanical design and construction of different parts of our experimental setup.


Dominik Schleicher

Expertise in computational astrophysics, star-forming regions, and magnetic fields. Valuable support for the theoretical part of this project.

Electrical Engineering

Pablo Acuña

Expertise in electrical engineering, professor at Universidad de Talca. He is contributing to the development of the power supply that will drive the ion trap and is a valuable support for the electrical part of the experiment.

Quantum Chemistry

Stefan Vogt

Expertise in quantum chemistry and ab-initio methods. Together with Stefano is co-supervising the PhD student Giulia Bovolenta with the aim to build the largest and most accurate database of binding energies of molecules on the surface of interstellar grains. A valid theoretical support to the Cosmic Dust Experiment.

External Collaborators

Laboratory Astrophysics

Stephan Schlemmer

Laboratory Astrophysics Group, Cologne, Germany


Paola Caselli

Center for Astrochemical Studies, MPE, Germany

Laboratory Astrophysics

Sergio Ioppolo

School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University, UK

Experimental Physics

Tim Esser

Department of Chemistry, Oxford University, UK

A Cryogenic Ion Trap for Astrochemistry

Study the processes occurring at the gas-solid interface and on the surface of grains.