Franco Gianturco

Senior Research Professor


Secondary e-mail:


Complete list of publications

Research topics:


  • Theory of elementary processes in molecular gases, neutral and ionized.
  • Computational modeling of the dynamics of energy transfers due to discharges in molecular gases.
  • Nonequilibrium behavior and transport properties in molecular mixtures.
  • Computational modeling via quantum and classical treatment of the relevant molecular inelastic cross sections and rates.
  • Electronic structure calculations and construction of potential energy surfaces for the dynamics of protonation, ionization, and excitation of small gaseous molecules.
  • Quantum and classical modeling of structures and nucleation dynamics in rare gas clusters. Microsolvation and microscopic superfluidity of 4He as probed by atomic and molecular dopants in helium droplets. Molecular models for superfluidity in confined media.
  • Dynamics of molecular processes with slow positrons in gases.
  • Scattering of near-thermal positrons in the gas phase from molecular samples. Study of annihilation in molecular gases and quantum dynamics of energy losses by positron beams in polyatomic gases.
  • Molecular processes at ultralow energies relevant for astrophysical processes and for the study of possible molecular Bose–Einstein condensates.
  • Chemical reactions in cold and ultracold traps. Reaction rates and quenching processes at the nano-Kelvin regimes.
  • Modeling of radiation damage in gas-phase and condensed-phase biosystems.
  • Electron attachment processes and bond-breaking from intermediate, metastable anionic states of DNA and fragment DNA.
  • Chemical processes at ultralow temperatures involving cold and ultracold molecular ions.
  • Reactions in magneto-optical traps and charge exchange in Coulomb crystals and analysis of resonances and virtual states at the nano-Kelvin regimes.
  • Quantum dynamics of molecular anions in the interstellar medium, circumstellar envelopes, and planetary atmospheres.
  • Gas-phase routes to polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs) formation and dynamical models for linear carbon anion (LCA) growth in planetary atmospheres.
  • Chemical dynamics under low redshifts and in Early Universe conditions.
  • Chemical reactions involving lithium, helium, and hydrogen molecules, neutral and ionic. Evaluation of molecular abundances in the ISM from quantum calculations.


Degrees Received

  • Laurea (equivalent to an American Master’s Degree) in Chemistry at the University of Bologna, Italy, Summer 1961 (magna cum laude).
  • D. Phil. (Doctor of Philosophy) in Applied Mathematics, at the University of Oxford, England, Michelmas Term 1967. Supervisor: the late C. A. Coulson, FRS, Rouse Ball Professor of Applied Mathematics.
  • Libera Docenza in Theoretical Chemistry, December 1970. A state exam roughly equivalent to a British Doctor of Science or a GermanHabilitation.

Positions Held

  • 1963–1965: Assistant Lecturer at the Physics Department of the Catholic University Medical School, Rome, Italy.
  • 1965–1968: Research Fellow at the Mathematical Institute, Oxford University, Oxford, England.
  • 1968–1970: Research Associate at the Theoretical Physics Division of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment (A.E.R.E.), Harwell, England.
  • 1970–1974: Lecturer of Physical Chemistry, The University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
  • 1974–1979: Professor of Physical Chemistry, The University of Bari, Bari, Italy.
  • 1979−2014: Professor of Quantum Chemistry (First Chair), Dept. of Chemistry, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy.
  • 2013–to date: Senior Research Professor, University of Innsbruck, Institute of Ion Physics.
  • 2013−to date: External Lecturer, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy.

Visiting Research Fellowships

  • 1965–1966: NATO Research Fellowship at the Mathematical Institute, Oxford University, Oxford, England.
  • 1967–1968: British Council Scholarship, for graduate study at the Mathematical Institute, Oxford University.
  • 1971–1972: Royal Society Exchange Fellowship for research at the Dept. of Theoretical Physics, the Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
  • 1979–1991: Von-Humboldt Fellowships at the Max-Planck Institut für Strömungsforschung, Göttingen, Federal Republic of Germany.
  • 1982–2000: Visiting Fellowship from the Japan Society for the Advancement of Sciences, to the Institute of Space Research, Tokyo, Japan.
  • 1985: Senior NATO Fellowship, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, United States.
  • 1992–1996: Senior Humboldt Awardee Max-Planck-Institut für Strömungsforschung, Göttingen, Germany.
  • 1995: Visiting Fellow, Institute of Theoretical Atomic and Molecular Physics, Harvard University, United States.
  • 2000: Visiting Fellow, Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University, United States.
  • 1995–2001: Max Planck Research Prize, Göttingen University, Germany.
  • 2003–2006: Humboldt Visiting Fellow, Dept. of Physical Chemistry, Free University of Berlin, Germany.

Editorial Appointments in International Journals

  • 1982–1990: Editor of Computer Physics Reports.
  • 1979–1990: Member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Quantum Chemistry.
  • 1984–1988: Member of the Editorial Board of theJournal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics.
  • 1995–2001: Editor-in-Chief ofEurophysics Letters.
  • 1997–2001: Member of the Editorial Board of the European Physics Journal D: Atoms, Molecules and Clusters.
  • 1990–2000: Member of the Editorial Board of Anales de Fisica, Madrid, Spain.
  • 1985–2001: Editorial Board Member of: Computer Physics Communication.
  • 2003–2009: Editor-in-Chief, European Journal of Physics D.

Honors, Awards, and Institutional Appointments

  • Chairperson, invited speaker, and plenary lecturer (since 1970) to several international conferences and international summer schools for more than 300 invitations, nearly always outside Italy.
  • 1981–1989: Chairman of the Division of Atomic and Molecular Physics of the European Physical Society.
  • 1981–1991: Elected Member of the Executive Committee of the International Conference on the Physics of Electronic and Atomic Collisions (ICPEAC) and Chairman of the Committee (1989–1991).
  • 1991: Received the Humboldt Research Prize from the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, through the Von Humboldt Foundation.
  • 1988: Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society.
  • 1989: Elected Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences.
  • 1994: Elected Fellow of the Institute of Physics (U.K.).
  • 2005: Elected Fellow of the European Physical Society.
  • 2008: Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (U.K.).
  • 2009: Elected Fellow of the Academia Europea (London).
  • 2014 : Elected Fellow of the Acàdemie de Stalinslas (France).
  • 1995: Awarded the Research Prize of the Max-Planck Society for Chemical Physics.
  • 1996: Recipient of the P.O. Lowdin Lecture for 1996 by the University of Uppsala (Sweden).
  • 1998: Recipient of the MOLEC Award, Bristol, Sept. 1998.
  • 1995–2000: President of the Coordinating Committee of the NIC Computing Consortium (Rome).
  • 2003–2006: President of the Supercomputing Consortium CASPUR (Rome).
  • 1998−2000: Member of the Ministerial Committee on National Computing, GARR (Rome).
  • 1985–2010: Member of the Board of the Doctorate in Chemistry (Rome, Sapienza University).


  • Books: 5 (1 as single author and 4 as Editor).
  • Publications: more than 590 publications (starting in 1965) in several international, refereed journals and as chapters of specialist’s volumes (more than 170 in the last five years).

Coordinator of Research Projects

  • 1980–2008: Coordinator of local research units in 10 different European Research and Training Networks of the Eurpean Science Division.
  • 1995–present: Scientific Coordinator of local units in 6 different COST projects (Chemistry and Physics) of the European Science Foundation.
  • 1995–2008: National Coordinator of 6 different projects of national interest (PRIN) of the Italian MUIR Ministery.
  • 2011–2013: Coordinator of a local research unit within a national research project (PRIN)
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