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Dr Sergio Ioppolo

Dr. Sergio Ioppolo

Profile summary

Professional biography

Astrophysicist and astrochemist by training, in 2010 I obtained my PhD at the Leiden University (Leiden, Netherlands). In the following years, supported by prestigious fellowships, e.g. Marie Curie IOF, I applied different techniques, e.g. THz time-domain spectroscopy (Caltech, USA), and developed numerous ultrahigh vacuum systems to investigate the formation of molecules in space ice analogs from the ultraviolet to the far infrared spectral range. In 2015, I started my Royal Society URF at the Open University, where I became research leader in the Molecular Astrophysics laboratory. In 2017, I moved to Queen Mary University of London as a lecturer within the Antennas group, further developing my link to the UK THz community.

Research interests

As Honorary Associate at the OU, I collaborate with Dr. Anita Dawes to employ the Portable Astrochemistry Chamber (PAC) at the Laboratory Astrophysics to investigate the 1keV electron-induced chemistry of interstellar and Solar System ice analogues by means of Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy.The PAC system is periodically moved to the synchrotron ASTRID2 facility in Denmark to perform complementary vacuum ultraviolet and ultraviolet-visible (VUV, UV-vis) spectroscopy of space relevant ices.


As a lecturer at QMUL, I am currently the head scientist and sole responsible for the Laboratory Ice Surface Astrophysics (LISA) end-station at FELIX Laboratory (Netherlands). In partnership with other international groups, I lead and manage the Ice Chemistry for Astrophysics (ICA) at ATOMKI (Hungary). I am an external collaborator of the Laboratory for Astrophysics at Leiden University in the Netherlands and the InterCat at Aarhus University in Denmark.


Selected Recent Publications:

  1. Ioppolo, S., Fedoseev, G., Chuang, K.-J., Cuppen, H.M., Clements, A.R., Jin, M., Garrod, R.T., Qasim, D., Kofman, V., van Dishoeck, E.F., Linnartz, H.; “A non-energetic mechanism for glycine formation in the interstellar medium”, 2020, Nature Astronomy, DOI: 10.1038/s41550-020-01249-0.
  2. Noble, J.A., Cuppen, H.M., Coussan, S., Redlich, B., Ioppolo, S.; “Infrared resonant vibrationally induced restructuring of amorphous solid water”, 2020, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 124, 20864.
  3. Ioppolo, S., Kaňuchová, Z., James, R.L., Dawes, A., Jones, N.C., Hoffmann, S.V., Mason, N.J., Strazzulla, G.; “Vacuum ultraviolet photoabsorption spectroscopy of space related ices: 1 keV electron irradiation of nitrogen- and oxygen-rich ices”, 2020, Astron. Astrophys., 641, A154.
  4. James, R.L., Ioppolo, S., Hoffmann, S.V., Jones, N.C., Mason, N.J., Dawes, A.; “Systematic investigation of CO2:NH3 ice mixtures using mid-IR and VUV spectroscopy - Part I: thermal processing”, 2020, RSC Advances, 10, 37515.
  5. McGuire, B.A., Ioppolo, S., Allodi, M.A., Blake, G.A.; “THz time-domain spectroscopy of mixed CO2:CH3OH interstellar ice analogs”; 2016, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 18, 20199.

Teaching interests

I teach Data Mining (Postgraduate) at the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science of Queen Mary University of London.


TeraHertz Desorption Emission Spectroscopy (THz DES) of space relevant ices (2022)
Auriacombe, Olivier; Rea, S; Ioppolo, S; Oldfield, M; Parkes, S; Ellison, B and Fraser, H J
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 515(2)

Systematic investigation of CO2 : NH3 ice mixtures using mid-IR and VUV spectroscopy – part 2: electron irradiation and thermal processing (2021-10)
James, Rachel L.; Ioppolo, Sergio; Hoffmann, Søren V.; Jones, Nykola C.; Mason, Nigel J. and Dawes, Anita
RSC Advances, 11(52) (pp. 33055-33069)

Systematic Study on the Absorption Features of Interstellar Ices in the Presence of Impurities (2020-06-18)
Gorai, Prasanta; Sil, Milan; Das, Ankan; Sivaraman, Bhalamurugan; Chakrabarti, Sandip K.; Ioppolo, Sergio; Puzzarini, Cristina; Kanuchova, Zuzana; Dawes, Anita; Mendolicchio, Marco; Mancini, Giordano; Barone, Vicenzo; Nakatani, Naoki; Shimonishi, Takashi and Mason, Nigel
ACS Earth and Space Chemistry, 4(6) (pp. 920-946)

Grain Surface Models and Data for Astrochemistry (2017-10)
Cuppen, H. M.; Walsh, C.; Lamberts, T.; Semenov, D.; Garrod, R. T.; Penteado, E. M. and Ioppolo, S.
Space Science Reviews, 212(1-2) (pp. 1-58)

THz time-domain spectroscopy of mixed CO2–CH3OH interstellar ice analogs (2016-06-07)
McGuire, Brett A.; Ioppolo, Sergio; Allodi, Marco A. and Blake, Geoffrey A.
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 18(30) (pp. 20199-20207)