Alessandra Ricca

Alessandra Ricca

Computational Chemist

Institution: SETI Institute


Chemistry is everywhere.

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Research Scientist Since 2005

SETI Institute (Mountain View US)

Theoretical studies of the IR spectral characteristics of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and related carbonaceous species and of their UV irradiation in water ices.

Project Scientist 2004 - 2005

UARC/UC Santa Cruz (Moffett Field US)

Computational studies of the mechanisms of operation of carbon nanotube-based sensors and of molecular memories.

Research Scientist 1998 - 2004

ELORET Corporation (Moffett Field US)

Computation of very accurate heats of formation for neutral and ionic species involved in the etching and deposition reactions of semiconductor processing. Simulations of the packing of arena thiols on gold and calculations of their current-voltage curves. Theoretical studies of the mechanisms involved in the growth of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic nitrogen heterocycles.

Postdoctoral Fellow 1996 - 1997

King's College London (London GB)

Implementation of diagonalization techniques within the complete active space self-consistent field (CASSCF) approach.

Postdoctoral fellow 1996 - 1997

Stanford University (Palo Alto US)

Theoretical studies of hydrogen abstraction from a diamond (111) surface under the effect of an electric field.


Ph.D. in Chemistry 1990 - 1993

University of Geneva  (Geneva CH)

Joint project between the Physical Chemistry and the Pharmaceutical Departments.


NASA Group Achievement Award, NASA ARC Family 2013

For exemplary performance, cohesive teamwork, and it's sustaining excellence in achieving NASA missions and objectives.

NASA Group Achievement Award, NASA Ames Astrochemistry Laboratory PAH Database 2012

For the extraordinary work creating the world's largest PAH IR Spectral Database.

ELORET Superior Achievement Award 2002

For computational studies conducted toward understanding the growth of carbon nanotubes and the interaction of metals with amino acids to help incorporate metals into protein nanotubes.

ELORET Superior Achievement Award 2000

For exceptional performance and productivity in the calculation of thermochemical data for species of interest in semiconductor device processing.

NASA Ames Integrated Product Team Group Achievement Award on Devices and Nanotechnology 2000

For excellence in research and outstanding contributions to the emerging fields of nanotechnology.

ELORET Thermosciences Institute Outstanding Achievement Award 1999

For excellence in providing a critical thermochemical database through computations of accurate thermodynamic properties for species needed in chemical vapor deposition (CVD) research.

Feynmann Prize for Theoretical Molecular Nanotechnology 1997

For theoretical work done to promote the field of Nanotechnology.

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