Michael Gatchell is a researcher at the Department of Physics at Stockholm University. Starting his research career in observational astronomy, he later switched paths to experimental studies of complex molecules in the laboratory. Dr. Gatchell’s PhD thesis in 2016 focused on collision induced dissociation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and fullerene molecules by energetic atoms and ions, with an emphasis on the role of this mechanism in astronomical environments. For this work he received Högskoleförenings pris, an award given for the best PhD thesis, in the area of natural sciences in 2016. In 2017 he received an international postdoctoral grant from the Swedish Research Council (VR) and moved to the University of Innsbruck to work as an independent researcher in close collaboration with the group of professor Paul Scheier. There, Dr. Gatchell worked with the development of experimental techniques utilizing helium nanodroplets to study cold molecular ions and clusters. This work also led to breakthroughs in the understanding of highly charged helium droplets. In 2020, he received a starting grant from VR and moved to Stockholm University as an independent senior researcher. In Stockholm, Dr. Gatchell is involved with the DESIREE facility, a national research infrastructure centered around two cryogenic electrostatic ion storage rings. He has also started his own research group to study chemical reactions in astronomical environments using the helium droplet technique as a tool to achieve this.


In the COSY Action, Michael Gatchell is the Science Communication Coordinator with the responsibility of forming a communication strategy for the action and its members and for ensuring that the output from the network reaches the greatest possible exposure. He is also an active member of Working Groups 3, 4, and 5.


Selected Publications:

  • M. Gatchell, J. Ameixa, M.C. Ji, M. H. Stockett, A. Simonsson, S. Denifl, H. Cederquist, H. T. Schmidt, and H. Zettergren; Survival of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon knockout fragments in the interstellar medium; Nature Communications 12, 6646 (2021)
  • T. González-Lezana, O. Echt, M. Gatchell, M. Bartolomei, J. Campos-Martínez, and P. Scheier; Solvation of ions in helium; International Reviews in Physical Chemistry 39, 465–516 (2020)
  • F. Laimer, L. Kranabetter, L. Tiefenthaler, S. Albertini, F. Zappa, A. M. Ellis, M. Gatchell, and P. Scheier; Highly Charged Droplets of Superfluid Helium; Physical Review Letters 123, 165301 (2019)
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