David Cappelletti


affiliated to: ISAC-CNR  & Centro di Eccellenza SMAArt

office: +39 075 5855529  (3862)   

mobile: +39 331 8917383   

email: david.cappelletti-AT-unipg.it   

skype: dvdcpplltt


David-Michele Cappelletti (DMC) is Full Professor of Chemistry at the University of Perugia. He moved at the Department of Chemistry, Biology, and Biotechnology in 2013 as coordinator of the Environmental Chemistry and Technology (ECT) research group after starting his career at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the same University in 1993. This followed on from visiting research positions (Dip. Fisica, Trento, Italy; Dept. Chemistry, Rochester, NY, USA), Post Doctoral position (NTU Taipei, Taiwan), Ph.D. in Chemistry (University of Perugia) and the first degree in Chemistry (University of Perugia). Since 2009 he served as operator of the WGMS (World Glacier Monitoring Service with annual field campaigns mainly at the Calderone Glacier (Gran Sasso d’Italia) and since 2016 he is a member of the Italian Glaciological Committee (CGI). He also participated in several Italian Arctic Expeditions (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). DMC is a member of the Doctorate School of Chemical Sciences of the Perugia University. He participated as a supervisor to various Ph.D. thesis in Chemistry, Physics and Biology and more than 40 undergraduate theses in Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Engineering, and Biology. 

The scientific activity of DMC started, in the 1990s, in the field of elementary chemistry processes in the gas phase, with a particular emphasis on the characterization of nature and role of interatomic and intermolecular forces and stereodynamics of molecular collisions by molecular beam experiments and by semi-empirical modeling. Highlights in this topic are well illustrated by highly cited papers (Nature 1994; J Am. Chem. Soc. 1999; Chem. Phys. 2006). Lately, he has been interested in the study of surface physics (see, for instance, Angew.Chemie, 2006; Prog. Surf. Science, 2008) and hydrogen bonded systems (i.e., Acc. of Chem. Res., 2012). More recently, he turned his attention on environmental chemistry and in particular on atmospheric aerosols research (i.e. Atmos. Environ. 2012; ACP2014) and Polar research (i.e. Atmos. Environ., 2015, ACP2016). On these topics, he has been invited to give more than 40 talks at International Conferences and Universities. Research in the Cappelletti group is based on the chemical and morphological characterization of atmospheric aerosols in the urban, remote and indoor environments, vertical profile measurements of aerosol properties by tethered balloon experiments and aerosol source apportionment methodologies, implementation and optimization of chemical transport models (Lagrangian and Eulerian).


  • Born in  Locarno (Switzerland), 6th April 1965.
  • "Laurea" in Chemistry, University of Perugia, Italy (Magna cum Laude), 27 June 1989. 
  •  Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Perugia, Italy (1989-1993).


  • 2018-present: Full Professor, University of Perugia
  • 2006-2018: Associate Professor, University of Perugia; 
  • 1993-2006: Associate Researcher, University of Perugia, Italy; 
  • 1994: Post-doc, National Taipei University, Taipei, Taiwan.


  • Quality assurance manager of the DCBB
  • Member of the CSA (Comitato Scientifico di Area) of Area 03 (Chemistry) of University of Perugia
  • Member of CP (Commissione Paritetica) of DCBB
  • Member of CGI (Comitato Glaciologico Italiano)

PUBLICATIONS AND BIBLIOMETRICS  Google Scholar  Researcher ID  Full list of publication ORCid

David Cappelletti is the co-author of more than 160 scientific ISI publications, including well-renowned international journals of high impact factor (such as Nature, Angewandte Chemie, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Physical Review Letters, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics). He also co-authored 19 chapter of books and non ISI papers. He has contributed to important review papers (Accounts of Chemical Research, International Reviews in Physical Chemistry, Progress in Surface Science, Advances in Quantum Chemistry). In the 2016 DMC has been the lead Editor of the Springer Special Issue: "Environmental Changes in the Arctic: an Italian Perspective" appeared on Rendiconti Lincei. His publications received >4200 citations, h-index: 41 (WOS) . He also co-authored more than 300 communications at scientific meetings.



  • 2018: Italian delegate at the Arctic Science Forum Ministerial. Berlin.
  • 2018 (October) Erasmus+ Staff mobility in University of Potsdam (Germany).
  • 2015-2018: Member of the Steering Committee of the Italian Aerosol Society;
  • 2018 (March-April) Researcher under the 2018 Italian Arctic Campaign (Atmospheric Chemistry) in Ny Alesund (Svalbard)
  • 2017 (November) - Erasmus+ Staff mobility in University of Potsdam (Germany).
  • 2017 (March-April) Researcher under the 2017 Italian Arctic Campaign (Atmospheric Chemistry) in Ny Alesund (Svalbard)
  • 2016 (March-April) Researcher under the 2016 Italian Arctic Campaign (Atmospheric Chemistry) in Ny Alesund (Svalbard)
  • 2015 (April-May) Researcher under the 2015 Italian Arctic Campaign (Atmospheric Chemistry) in Ny Alesund (Svalbard)
  • 2014 (November) - Italian representative at the Panel of Experts of Belmont Forum (NSF) for the theme "Arctic Observing and Research Sustainability"
  • 2014 (September) Researcher under the 2014 Italian Arctic Campaign (Atmospheric Chemistry) in Ny Alesund (Svalbard)
  • 2012 (June-July)  Researcher under the 2012 Italian Arctic Campaign (Atmospheric Chemistry) in Ny Alesund (Svalbard)
  • 2011 (April-May) Researcher under the 2011 Italian Arctic Campaign (Atmospheric Chemistry) in Ny Alesund (Svalbard)
  • 2009-present Operator of the WGMS (World Glacier Monitoring Service) 
  • 2007  Lecturer at the Master in "Simulacion de Processos Moleculares" Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain; 
  • 2004 Visiting professor, Osaka University, Japan; 
  • 2001 Lecturer at the INFM National School "Elementary Interactions, Trapping and Manipulations of Atoms and Molecular Systems" Capri, Centro per la Cultura Scientifica, Universita di Napoli "Federico II" 
  • 1998 Member of Instituto Nazionale per le Fisica della Materia (INFM); 
  • 1995: Visiting researcher, Rochester University, Rochester, NY, USA; 
  • 1994: Visiting researcher, Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita' di Trento, Trento, I


Since 2014 is the Coordinator of the Environmental Chemistry and Technology research group at the DCBB. The group staff involved over the years several post-docs, technicians, and students members. The scientific activity of the group is coordinated with national and international partners.


  • 2019 - BC-HOR, Spatial Distributions of Black Carbon and Mineral Dust in Air and Snow Surface Layers upon Hornsund Glaciers, INTERACT Transnational Access and Remote Access call for s/s 2019 and a/w 2019-2020), Funded by H2020 (Grant Agreement No. 730938).
  • 2018-2019 Chemical and biological markers in lacustrine sediments for a reconstruction of anthropic impacts on ecosystemsFondo Ricerca di Base 2018 UNIPG (Principal Investigator).
  • 2018-2020 BC-3DSpatial Distributions of Black Carbon and Mineral Dust in Air and Snow Surface Layers upon Svalbard Glaciers -  Principal Investigator - project n. 283466, funded by Norwegian Research Council through the Svalbard Strategic Grant (SSG) programme.
  • 2018-2020 CRYODUST -  Calderone Glacier: From environmental studies in a mountain environment to an evaluation of Chemical and Biogeographical effects of Saharn dust advectionsFunded by Dipartimento per gli affari regionali, le autonomie e lo sport della Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri - Principal Investigator.
  • 2017-2021 - SIDDARTA: Source IDentification of (mineral) Dust to AntaRcTicA - Programma Nazionale di Ricerca in Antartide, Bando PNRA 2016 - Local Unit Coordinator.
  • Local Structure, Valence state and Solubility of Iron in Atmospheric Aerosol from Saharan Advections - Fondo Ricerca di Base 2015 UNIPG (Principal Investigator). 
  • 2016-2017 - SNOWDUST - Ghiacciaio del Calderone. Studio degli effetti chimici e biogeografici delle avvezioni di polveri sahariane in ambiente di montagna. Un approccio analitico e modellistico integrato per lo studio del ghiacciaio del Calderone (Gran Sasso d’Italia) -  Funded by Dipartimento per gli affari regionali, le autonomie e lo sport della Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri - Principal Investigator.
  • 2016 - AGAP-FLUX (PI): Atmospheric Gondola for Aerosol Profiling - Italian Arctic Data Center.
  • 2016 - SINERGIA (coPI) : Fillobiorisanamento: utilizzo delle interazioni piante-batteri come strumento innovativo per il trattamento biologico di inquinanti volatili per la sicurezza negli impianti produttivi - (progetto BRIC-INAIL) in collaborazione con A.Franzetti (PI) Università Milano Bicocca.
  • 2015 - AGAP (PI): Atmospheric Gondola for Aerosol Profiling - Italian Arctic Data Center.
  • 2014-2015 - Biodiversity and biomagniification in lepidoptra: effects of atmospheric deposition and soil nature - (PI) - in collaboration with Dr. Enzo Goretti (DCBB), ARPA Umbria andl Dipartimento di Chimica of University of Bologna (Prof. Laura Tositti).
  • 2013-2014:  Coupling of climatic system components and physical, chemical and biological processes at the interface in the Arctic (coPI) - Progetto Bilaterale (MAE) PGR00168 (2013-2014) - Italia-Korea (PI: Dr. Vito Vitale, ISAC, CNR).
  • 2012-2015:  PMetro (PI) - Particulate matter monitoring in real time by means of a mobile station,(www.pmetro.it) funded by ARPA Umbria, Regione dell’Umbria and Comune di Perugia.
  • 2012-2015 - Air quality: Source apportionment of particulate matter in urban environment in Umbria (PI) – in collaboration with ARPA Umbria.
  • 2009-2010 Aerosol vertical profile by tethered balloon over the cities of Terni, Milano and Merano (PI), funded by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Terni e Narni and EURAC (Bolzano) in collaboration with Dr. Luca Ferrrero Univ. Milano-Bicocca (coPI) and Dr. Marcello Petitta (coPI) (EURAC, Bolzano);
  • 2009 Realization of a high altitude air quality monitoring station for the study of transnational pollutants transport (PI), co-funded by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Perugia;
  • 2008-2012:  Chemical and morphological characterization of particulate matter in Umbria (PI), funded by Regione Umbria.;
  • 2005:  Structure and dynamics of species of atmospheric interest of relevance for Greenhouse effect and global warming (PI), Galileo Project, Italian- France Coordinated action in collaboration with Dr. Beatrice Bussery (coPI) University of Rennes.


  •  2018 - Strengthening cooperation on air pollution research in Svalbard, funded by Norwegian Research Council through the Svalbard Strategic Grant (SSG) programme.
  • 2017-2019 SAMEECA - Surface Atmosphere Mass and Energy Exchanges at a Coastal Antarctic site - Programma Nazionale di Ricerca in Antartide, Bando PNRA 2016
  • 2017 -  Iron speciation in Arctic snow - understanding processes and sources in the Spitzbergen region (Svalbard) - proposal N° 08-01 1045 - LISA beam lline (EXAFS-XANES) -  Allocated beam time: 12 shifts. PI: Dr. Chiara Petroselli (DCBB).
  • 2016 - Iron speciation and local order in industrial and urban aerosol and in Sahara dust: characterization of specific aerosol sources -experiment EV-201 - Grenoble Synchrotron Radiation Source (ESFR) - LISA beam lline (EXAFS-XANES) -  Allocated beam time: 22-27 September 2016. PI: Dr. Chiara Petroselli (DCBB).
  • 2016 - Le api come bioindicatori della qualità ambientale del territorio umbro - Progetto Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Perugia, (PI Dr. Enzo Goretti)
  • 2015-2016 - Caratterizzazione microbiologica del particolato atmosferico (PM10) nella conca ternana -  Finanziato da Fondazione CARIT, Terni e Narni (Bando 2015).PI: Dr. Ermanno Federici (DCBB).
  • 2015 - Red-ox speciation and mixing state of iron in Saharan dust - experiment 08-01-999 - Grenoble Synchrotron Radiation Source (ESFR)  LISA beam lline (EXAFS-XANES) -  Allocated beam time:  29 October-3 November 2015. PI: Dr. Beatrice Moroni (DCBB).
  • 2010-2012 PRIN (bando 2008,  2008KJX4SN_003) -  Dai processi elementari alla modellistica accurata di sistemi complessi. PI: Prof. F. Pirani (DCBB)
  • 2006-2008 PRIN (bando 2005, 2005033911_001 ) Caratterizzazione delle forze intermolecolari e del loro ruolo nella dinamica dei processi elementari in sistemi di non equilibrio;
  • 2004-2006 PRIN (bando 2004, ) Esperimenti con fasci molecolari per la caratterizzazione dell’energia potenziale intermolecolare coinvolta nei processi di aggregazione;
  • 2003-2005 PRIN (bando 2003) Studio e caratterizzazione teorica e sperimentale di specie chimiche di interesse nei processi atmosferici;
  • 2002-2003: Sticking of Oriented Molecules on Single Crystal Surfaces - PURS project at the Elettra Sincrotron Radiation Source (Trieste),
  • 2000-2003: Generation, characterization and Reaction Dynamics of Multiply Charged Ions. EU Training and Mobility of researcher (TMR) project.
  • 1999-2001 Modelli Avanzati per Simulazioni Termofluidodinamiche di Combustione e Prove Sperimentali con Diagnostica Avanzata su Bruciatori e Camere di Combustione - ENEA priority programme;
  • 1999-2000: Dynamics of Charge-Transfer Processes - INFM PAIS project.
  • 1996–1999: Potential Energy Surfaces for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics - EU Training and Mobility of researcher (TMR) project [Contract no. ERB-FMRX-CT96-0088]
  • 1996–1997: Interactions of Oriented Molecules - Advanced Research Project  of Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZIF, Bielefeld);
  • 1993-1996 : Structure and Reactivity of Molecular Ions - EU Human capital and Mobility Network (HCM) project - Contract no. CHRX-CT93-0150]


Referee for the National Science Fundation. Evaluator for the National Science Centre of Poland. Evaluator for Università Italo-Francese bando Vinci. Referee for PRIN, FIRB and SIR projects. Referee for the VQR Italian system. He provided Outstanding Contribution in Reviewing for The Science of the Total Environment, Atmospheric Environment and Atmospheric Research. He is regularly referee for Chemical Physics Letters, Chemical Physics, Journal of Physical Chemistry, Journal of Chemical Physics, Angewandte Chemie, Rendiconti Lincei, Cold Regions Science and Technology, International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, Journal of Aerosol Science, Environmental Research Letters, Atmosphere, Measurements.


During his career, he has collaborated with various experimental and theoretical groups in the fields of atomic and molecular physics (P. Tosi, University of Trento; J.P. Toennies, MPI Goettingen, Germany; M. Rocca, University of Genova; F. Thibault, University of Rennes, France; B. Bussery, University of Besancon, France; V. Aleksev, Institute of Physics, St.Petersburg State University, Russia) physical chemistry (J. Farrar, University of Rochester, NY, USA; M. Alberti, University of Barcelona; M. Capitelli, University of Bari), atmospheric aerosol chemistry (E. Bolzacchini, Università di Milano-Bicocca, R. Udisti, Università di Firenze, M. Petitta, EURAC, Bolzano; V. Vitale, ISAC-CNR, Bologna, M. Grotti, Univ. di Genova) and snow chemistry (A.Spolaor, IDPA-CNR, Venezia; J.C. Gallet, NPI, Tromso; M. Pecci, DARES, Roma)


  • Spatial distribution of aerosol properties in the lower troposphere upon Ny-Ålesund, L’Artico visto da Ny Ålesund - Roma 18-19 Marzo 2019, DTA.
  • The BC-3D Project, Atmospheric Flagship, an SSF Workshop, Potsdam 12-14 December 2018.
  • Chemical Speciation, Bacterial Diversity and Source Apportionment of PM10 in a Heavily Polluted Urban Environment, IAC2018Xth International Aerosol Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, September 2-7, 2018.
  • Vertical distribution of aerosol properties in the Spitsbergen region - POLAR 2018 - A SCAR & IASC Conference Davos - Switzerland 15-26 June 2018
  • Aerosol vertical profiles in the ArcticSvalbard Science Conference 2017, Oslo 6 – 8  November 2017. 
  • Determination of black carbon in snow and in airborne particles along glacier elevation gradients in the Spitsbergen (Svalbard), Alfred Wegner Institute, Potsdam, 24 October 2017.
  • Studio degli effetti chimici e biogeografici delle avvezioni di polveri sahariane sul Ghiacciaio del Calderone (Gran Sasso d’Italia), Presidenza Consiglio Ministri, Galleria Colonna, Largo Chigi, Roma. 5 Ottobre 2017.

  • Deposition of Airborne Pollutants on Plant Leaves and Role of Plant-Bacteria Interactions in Accumulation and Degradation Processes, XXVI Congresso Nazionale della Società Chimica Italiana, Paestum, 10-14 settembre 2017
  • Origine, trasporto e destino del Cromo in ambiente: fatti e misfatti di uno dei più strategici e critici elementi in natura, CROMO ESAVALENTE E IMPLICAZIONI SANITARIE giovedì 12 gennaio 2017, ARPA, Terni
  • Monitoring strategies for indoor air contaminants in museum environments, nanosimposio "SITUAZIONE LEGISLATIVA, ASPETTI TOSSICOLOGICI E CONOSCENZA SCIENTIFICA SULLE NANOPARTICELLE AERODISPERSE", Università degli Studi di Milano – Bicocca, 23.11.2016
  • Five Years of Aerosol Vertical Profiles in the Arctic - TROPOS research Center - Lipsia, 8 giugno 2016 - Invited seminar.
  • Determinazione della speciazione e simmetria locale del ferro nel dust sahariano mediante spettroscopia di assorbimento di raggi-x - PM2016, Convegno Nazionale della Società Italiana Aerosol, 17-20 May 2016 (ROMA)
  • Biodiversity and Chemical Speciation of Desert Dust Particles - EAC2015 - European Aerosol Conference, Milan, September 7-11 2015
  • Catching the role of chemical interactions in neutral complexes of helium and neon by molecular beam experiments and charge displacement calculations - Invited talk at  "Atomic and Molecular Collision Mechanisms", Workshop of the Solvay Institutes, Brussels (ULB) March 30 - April 2, 2015.
  • Aerosol, Black Carbon ed Ozono come Traccianti di Sorgenti e Dinamiche di Scambio Indoor-Outdoor in un Ambiente Museale - Invited talk at PM2014 - Congresso Nazionale della Società Italiana Aerosol (Genova) 20-23 Maggio 2014;
  • PMetro: un sistema mobile per la misura delle polveri fini - XII Conferenza Generale ARPA: Aria quale qualità? (Bologna) 20-21 Mar 2014;
  • Ground-based Measurements at the WMO SDS-WAS Rural Regional Background Monitoring Station of Monte Martano (Central Italy) - VII International Dust Workshop, ESA (Frascati), 2-4 Dic 2013; 
  • Il sistema integrato PMetro: valutazione ad alta risoluzione spaziale e temporale delle dinamiche di dispersione dell'aerosol urbano - Seminari TECORA su Emissioni e Monitoraggio Ambientale (Palermo) 25 Sett 2013; 
  • Urban particulate matter monitoring on a mobile platform: a real time experiment on a long term scale -  Focus Meeting of the Aerosol Society (Leeds) 24-25 July 2013;

  • Sorgenti,  dinamiche di dispersione ed impatto delle polveri fini nel bacino di Terni - Seconda Conferenza Provinciale Ambiente e Salute (Terni) 23 Maggio 2013;

  • AICIng 2012, VIII Convegno Nazionale dell'Associazione di Chimica per l'Ingegneria (Catania) 16-19 Settembre 2012; 
  • ICCMSE2011, Ninth International Conference of Computational Methods in Sciences and Engineering, 02-07/10/2011, G-Hotels, Halkidiki, Greece (2011); 
  • Discussion Meeting on Intermolecular Interactions, Orange County (Bangalore, India) 28 Nov.-2 Dec. (2010); 
  • PM2010, Quarto convegno Nazionale sul Particolato Atmosferico, Venezia, 18-20 Maggio (2010); 
  • HALF-CENTURY OF MOLECULAR DYNAMICS OF ELEMENTARY AND COMPLEX SYSTEMS; a Symposium in honour of Prof. Vincenzo Aquilanti in his 70th birthday December 18-19, 2009 Accademia Nazionale delle Scienze detta dei XL Scuderie di Villa Torlonia (Roma); 
  • ACC-CCI-2009 - Atmospheric Composition Changes: Climate-Chemistry Interactions – Lecce, 2-4 November 2009; 
  • TUMA 2006, XXV Convegno Interregionale Toscana Umbria Marche Abruzzo (TUMA). Camerino 29 giugno-1 luglio (2006); 
  • IUPAC Workshop ” Hydrogen Binding and Other Molecular Interactions”, Pisa, Italy, 5-9 Settembre (2005); 
  • Stereodynamics 04, International Symposium on Stereodynamics of Chemical Reactions, Osaka, Japan, 28 Novembre - 3 Dicembre (2004); 
  • MOLEC 04, International Conference on Dynamics of Molecular Systems Conference Center Dennenhoeve, Nunspeet, The Netherlands 5-10 September, (2004); 
  • SASP 2004, XIV Symposium on Atomic and Surface Physics and related topics, La Thuile (Ao), February, 1-6 (2004); 
  • NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Weakly Interacting Molecular Pairs: Unconventional Absorbers of Radiation in the Atmosphere, Fontevraud (France), 29 April – 3 May (2002); 
  • CECAM Workshop on Molecular Aspects of Gas Dynamics, Lyon (France), June 26–29 (2000); 
  • SASP 2000, XII Symposium on Atomic and Surface Physics and related topics, Folgaria (Trento, Italy), January 30 – February 5, (2000); 
  • XVIII International Symposium on Molecular Beams, Ameland (The Netherlands), May 30 – June 4, (1999); 
  • III European Meeting on Structure and Reactivity of Molecular Ions, Riva del Garda (Trento, Italy), May 13-16, (1996); 
  • Orientation and Polarization Effects in Chemical Reaction Dynamics (a NATO Advanced Workshop), Assisi (Perugia, Italy), 20-25 November (1992).


As Chairperson: 

  • Water Dimers and Weakly Interacting Species in the Modeling of Atmosphere, CECAM Workshop, Lyon, 25-27 April 2005; 
  • XI Convention Ambiente Ricerca Giovani, Roma-Assisi-Perugia, 21- 24 Giugno 2011; 
  • PM2012, the Fifth National meeting of the Italian Aerosol Society (Perugia, 16-18, May 2012);

As Member of the Organizing Committee: 

  • Orientation and Polarization Effects in Chemical Reaction Dynamics (a NATO Advanced Research Workshop), Assisi, Italy, 1992; 
  • 7th European Workshop on Molecular Spectroscopy and Photon-Induced Dynamics, Maratea, Italy, 1993; Elementary Chemical Processes, Perugia, Italy, 1998.
  • COMET XVI, XVI International Conference on Molecular Energy Transfer, Assisi (Perugia, Italy), June 20-25, 1999; 
  • International Symposium on Free Radicals, Assisi (PG) September 3–7 (2001); 
  • AICing 04, I Congresso della Associazione Nazionale di Chimica per l’Ingegneria, Perugia, 12–14 Settembre 2004.


  • Biogeochemistry (2018-present);
  • Environmental Chemistry (2015-present); 
  • Instrumental Technologies for Environmental Sciences (2015-present);
  • Atmospheric Chemistry (2009-2011); 
  • Radiochemistry (2008); 
  • Chemical Risk (2008-2009);
  • General Chemistry (1993-2016)

DMC is affiliated to the Doctorate School of Chemistry of Perugia.
He partecipate as a supervisor to various Ph.D. thesis in chemistry and more than 
40 undergraduate thesis in Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Engineering. 


Member of the Italian Aerosol Society (IAS).