Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Yuan Chen

I am a PhD student under InterCat at Leiden University studying whether complex organic molecules (COMs) are formed in ices or through gas-phase processes on solar-system scales.

I obtained my BSc. degree in Astronomy from Peking University in 2019. As an undergraduate, I received research training in Prof. Gregory Herczeg's group at the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (KIAA) and got interested in the field of star and planet formation. I learnt about astrochemistry when I joined Prof. Edwin Bergin's group as an exchange student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor to conduct my bachelar thesis project. I studied how to use hydrogen deuteride (HD) in tandem with CO isotopologues to measure the gas mass of protoplanetary disks using the 2D photo-chemical code RAC2D.

I continued my study as a master student at Leiden Observatory specializing in Astronomy and Data Science. I did my first master  research project in Prof. Ewine van Dishoeck's group studying carbon-chain molecules (CCMs) and COMs in the protostellar system BHR 71. I learnt how to perform data reduction and spectral analyses on ALMA data by using different softwares such as CASA and CASSIS. My second research project was done with Prof. Yamila Miguel, in which I studied sulfur and phosphorous chemistry in atmospheres of hot-Jupiters using the 1D photochemical code VULCAN. I received my MSc. degree in Astronomy with cum laude in the summer of 2021.

In my PhD, I will focus on oxygen-bearing COMs in the envelopes of protostars to unveil their formation histories. Emission lines from gas-phase molecules and absorption features from ices will be observed by ALMA in sub-millimeter and JWST in mid-infrared, respectively. Observational results will be compared with those from laboratory experiments and astrochemical models. I will be officially supervised by Prof. Ewine van Dishoeck and Prof. Harold Linnartz and also work closely with the PhDs and postdocs in the groups as well as other collaborators.

PhD student


Niels Bohrweg 2

2333 CA Leiden

Room number 507