Research Training Network - FP6

Collective expertize of the network teams

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Participant Number 17: Perugia (IT)

Expertise in Research and Complementarity
The Perugia team is lead by Prof P. Casavecchia (PC), with support from Emeritus Professor G.G. Volpi (GGV). PC has wide experience in gas-phase chemical dynamics (elastic, inelastic, and reactive collisions). After 3 years post-doc research in Berkeley (USA) with Nobel Prize (1986) Y. T. Lee, he returned to Perugia as Research Associate in 1980 to set up a Crossed Molecular Beams apparatus. He was appointed Associate Professor in 1987, and Full Professor of Physical Chemistry in July 2001. PC is recognised as one of the world experts in Reaction Dynamics. GGV has made significant contributions to the study of chemical kinetics and reaction dynamics and these were recognised in 1993 by his election to Member of the "Accademia Nazionale delle Scienze" and in 1994 of the ''Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei''. The team is part of the Perugia Molecular Dynamics group, which spans experiment and theory on the dynamics of elementary chemical processes. The University of Perugia is one of the leading research Universities in Italy; as such it is well-equipped for research. The team has been especially active in European collaborative research. PC is Co-ordinator of the successful Research Training Network on Reaction Dynamics (FP5) and he has been a member of the very successful TMR Network on Astrophysical Chemistry co-ordinated by I.R. Sims. Other members of the Perugia Molecular Dynamics group are involved in two other RTNs within FP5. The Perugia Crossed Beam apparatus is state-of-the-art. The first ever measurement of reactive differential cross sections for nitrogen atom reactions were performed by the Perugia team a few years ago. The recent development of continuous supersonic beams of C atoms and CN radicals, attained during the previous TMR Network, coupled with the very recent implementation, for the first time, of ``soft'' electron impact ionisation for product detection in crossed beam experiments, will put the Perugia team at the forefront in the investigation of the dynamics of multichannel reactions such as those of C, N, and CN with unsaturated hydrocarbons. This work is highly complementary to the dynamics (kinetic) work carried in Bordeaux (Rennes). The Perugia team has collaborated previously with Professor Clary's group, now in Oxford, and the Bordeaux group. Several joint publications with these Network teams have arisen as a result of the recent TMR Network.
Expertise in Training and Knowledge Transfer
The postdoctoral fellow (PDF) would be employed within the Department of Chemistry of the University of Perugia. Several other PDFs within current RTNs (FP5) are actively pursuing training in the Chemistry Department. PDFs are expected to attend (and contribute to) the programme of research seminars, which include a seminar every week in chemical physics and one on more general chemical topics (more seminars are available at the Department of Physics). Members of Prof Casavecchia's group regularly attend and present work at national and international meetings. These various activities will ensure that the continued training of a PDF in Perugia will have breadth as well as depth, and will assist the PDF in moving from their previous student role towards that of an active research supervisor, capable of managing both research projects and teams, and therefore being fully involved in knowledge transfer. Over the past four years, PC has supervised 3 PhD students (2M, 1F), 4 Master students (2M, 2F) of whom 2 have graduated school and 2 are current students who will likely enter graduate school in the fall 2003. He has also supervised 5 PDFs (3M, 2F), of whom two are current.

Involvement of Key Scientific Staff.

Name Position M/F Expertise
P. Casavecchia Full Professor M Reaction dynamics and Elementary Processes
G.G. Volpi Emeritus Professor M Reaction kinetics and dynamics
N. Balucani Research Associate F Reaction dynamics
G. Capozza PDF M Reaction dynamics

Significant References
1. Dynamics of the C + C2H2 reaction from differential and integral cross-section measurements in crossed- beam experiments, L. Cartechini, A. Bergeat, G. Capozza, P. Casavecchia, G. G. Volpi, W. D. Geppert, C. Naulin, M. Costes, J. Chem. Phys. 116, 5603-5611 (2002).
2. Cyanomethylene formation from the reaction of excited nitrogen atoms with acetylene: a crossed beam and ab initio study, N. Balucani, M. Alagia, L. Cartechini, P. Casavecchia, G.G. Volpi, K. Sato, T. Takayanagi and Y. Kurosaki, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 122, 4443-4450 (2000).