Scientific Research Lines

Interstellar Medium and Planetary Systems

Interstellar Medium Astrophysics - Astrochemistry

The ISM group, also known as AstroC=Hemistry Group, is involved in the study of chemical-physical processes occurring in the interstellar medium, i.e. the gas+dust system overwhelming the Galaxy and the intergalactic space.

The AstroC=Hemistry Group started initially as a two-men observative group, devolving experience in the field of optical observations of several interstellar bands whose carrier was unknown but present almost ubiquitously in the ISM (Diffuse Interstellar Bands, DIBs).

In the last ten years, the research interests enlarged to the theoretical study of structural, rotational, vibrational and electronical properties of macromolecules and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in different interstellar environments.

This study has led to the production of a large database of PAHs synthetic spectra (

Starting from this experience, the group is presently involved in projecting a huge international database of atomic and molecular properties (VAMDC - Virtual Atomic and Molecular Data Centre).
Molecules in the Interstellar Medium

Moreover, the group is particularly active in the study of the optical properties of the dust grains and in the study of small molecules (H2,CO,C2...) excitation in the  diffuse and translucent medium.

A large expertise has been developed in the field of chemical models of different interstellar regions (diffuse and dense clouds, Bok globules, hot cores, HII regions, PDRs..)Salva