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Dr. Gerardo Dominguez

Dr. Gerardo Dominguez

Assistant Professor, Physics

Office: Science Hall 2 223

Dr. Gerardo Dominguez

I graduated from U.C. Berkeley's Physics Department in 2005 after completing a dissertation in experimental astrophysics. After a brief postdoctoral period there I moved to U.C. San Diego to study isotope systematics in Mark Thiemen's Lab in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  In the Fall of 2011, I joined the Physics Department at CSU San Marcos. 

I am interested in a wide variety of problems in environmental science, atmospheric chemistry, astrophysics, and planetary science and I approach these topics from both an experimental and theoretical perspective. 

Recent research topics include:

  • Mass-transport in silicate melts (Soret diffusion and isotopic fractionation)
  • Understanding the formation of the Solar System using oxygen isotopes
  • Infrared spectroscopy of materials with 10-20 nanometer lateral resolutions
  • Transport of 35S from natural (cosmic-ray produced) and anthropogenic (Fukashima) sources in the atmosphere
  • Oxygen isotopic composition of photochemical species in Earth's atmosphere
  • Hypervelocity impacts into ultra-low density solids called aerogels (NASA Stardust Mission)


U.C. Berkeley, Physics, Ph.D., 2005

Thesis:  Fluorescent Aerogels for the Capture and Identification of Hypervelocity Extraterrestrial Particles

U.C. Berkeley, Physics, M.A., 2001

U.C. Berkeley, Physics with Honors, B.A., 1998

Undergraduate Thesis:  Use of Neural Networks for the Correction of Radiation Damage in Gamma-Ray Spectrometers




  • Assistant Professor, Dept. of Physics, Cal State University San Marcos, Fall 2011-
  • Visiting Scholar, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, U.C. San Diego, Fall 2011-
  • Associate Project Scientist, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, U.C. San Diego (2011)
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, U.C. San Diego, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry (2005-2010)
  • NASA Stardust Preliminary Examination Team, Cratering Sub-team Member
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, U.C. Berkeley, Space Sciences Laboratory (2005)
  • Graduate Student Researcher, U.C. Berkeley (1998-2005)
  • National Physical Science Consortium Fellow, Corning Inc. (Summers of 1999 and 2000)
  • Graduate Student Instructor, U.C. Berkeley (Fall 1998, Spring 1999, Fall 2000)

Complete Vitae


Publications (*=undergraduate student, **=graduate student)

G. Dominguez, G. Wilkins, M.H. Thiemens, Dominguez et al. reply, Nature 482, E1(2012).              

L.M. Zhang, G. O. Andreev, Z. Fei, A. S. McLeod, G. Dominguez, M. Thiemens, A. H. Castro-Neto, D. N. Basov, M. M. Fogler, Near-field spectroscopy of silicon dioxide thin filmsPhys. Rev. B., 85, 075419 (2012).  

M. Thiemens, S. Chakraborty, G. DominguezThe Physical Chemistry of Mass Independent Isotope Effects and Their Observation in Nature, to appear in Annual Reviews of Physical Chemistry, (2012).

Z. Fei, G. O. Andreev, W. Bao, L. M. Zhang, A. S. McLeod, C. Wang, M. K. Stewart1, Z. Zhao, G. Dominguez, M. Thiemens, M. M. Fogler, M. Tauber, A. Castro-Neto, C. N. Lau, F. Keilmann, D. N. Basov, Infrared Nanoscopy of Dirac Plasmons at the Graphene-SiO2interface, NanoLetters11, 4701-4705 (2011).

A. Priyardashi, G. Dominguez, M. Thiemens, Evidence of neutron leakage at the Fukushima nuclear plant from measurements of radioactive 35S in California, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108, 1442, (2011).

A. Priyardashi, G. Dominguez, J. Savarino,  M. Thiemens, Cosmogenic 35S: A unique tracer to Antarctic atmospheric chemistry and the polar vortex, Geophysical Research Letters38, (2011).

G. Dominguez, G. Wilkins*, M. Thiemens, On the Soret Effect and Isotopic Fractionation in High-Temperature Silicate MeltsNature, 473, 70-73, (2011).

R. Shaheen, A., Abramian*, J. Horn, G. Dominguez, R. Sullivan**, M. H. Thiemens, Detection of Oxygen Isotopic Anomaly in Terrestrial Atmospheric Carbonates and Its Implications to Mars,Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107,20213-20218 (2010).

Winner of the 2010 Cozzarelli Prize

G. DominguezA Heterogeneous Chemical Origin for the 16O-enriched and 16O-depleted Reservoirs of the Early Solar SystemThe Astrophysical Journal Letters, 713, L59-L63 (2010).

A. Ault**, C. Gaston**, Y. Wang*, G. Dominguez, M. Thiemens, K. Prather, Characterization of the Single Particle Mixing State of Individual Ship Plume Events measured in the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach.  Environmental Science and Technology, 44, 1954-1961 (2010). 

L. Brothers**, G. Dominguez, A. Abramian*, A. Corbin*, B. Bluen*, and M. Thiemens, Optimized Low-Level Liquid Scintillation Spectroscopy of 35S for Atmospheric and Biogeochemical ApplicationsProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107, 5311-5316 (2010).

G. DominguezTime Evolution and Temperatures of Hypervelocity Generated Tracks in AerogelMeteoritics and Planetary Science, 44, 1431 (2009).

G. Dominguez, G. Wilkins*, M. Thiemens, A Photochemical Model and Sensitivity Study of the Triple-Oxygen Isotopic Composition of NOy, HOx, and H2O2 in a Polluted Boundary Layer, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, 9, 13355-13406, (2009).

Fabian, P., Rollenbeck, R., Spichtinger, N., Brothers**, L., Dominguez, G., and Thiemens, M.: Sahara dust, ocean spray, volcanoes, biomass burning: pathways of nutrients into Andean rainforestsAdvances in Geosciences, 22, 85-94, (2009).

G. Dominguez, T. Jackson, L. Brothers**, B. Nguyen*, B. Barnett*, M. Thiemens, Discovery and measurement of an isotopically distinct source of sulfate in Earth¿s atmosphereProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105, 12769 (2008).

J. M. Trigo-Rodríguez, G. Domínguez, M. J. Burchell, F. Hörz, J. Llorca, Bulbous Tracks Arising From Hypervelocity Capture In AerogelMeteoritics and Planetary Science, 42, 75 (2008).

M.J. Burchell, S.A.J. Fairey, P. Wozniakiewicz, D.E. Brownlee, F. Hörz, A.T. Kearsley, T.H. See, P Tsou, A. Westphal, S.F. Green S.F., J.M. Trigo-Rodríguez, G. DominguezCharacteristics of cometary dust tracks in Stardust aerogel and laboratory calibrationsMeteoritics and Planetary Science, 42, 23 (2008).

D. Brownlee, P. Tsou, J. Aleon, G. Dominguez (33rd author, alphabetical) et al. , Comet 81P/Wild 2 Under a Microscope, Science314, 1711 (2006).

F. Hörz, R. Bastien, J. Borg, G. Dominguez (8th author, alphabetical) et al.,  Impact Features on the Stardust Collector and implications for Wild 2 Coma DustScience, 314, 1716, (2006).

S. Brennan, K. Luening, P. Pianetta, J. Bradley, G. Graham, A. Westphal, C. Snead, G. DominguezNear Edge Absorption Spectroscopy of Interplanetary Dust ParticlesPhys. Scripta, 2005, T115 (2005).

G. Dominguez, A.J. Westphal, M.L.F Phillips, S.M. Jones, G.A. Graham, A.T. Kearsley & G. Drolshagen, Passive Detector Technology for the Capture of Micrometeroids and Orbital Debris: Calorimetric AerogelsProceedings of the 4th European Conference on Orbital Debris., ESA/ESOC Darmstadt Germany, 18-20th of April, (2005).

GDominguez, A.J. Westphal, S.M. Jones, M. L. F. Phillips, Energy Loss and Impact Cratering in Aerogels: Theory and Experiment.Icarus, v. 172, pgs. 613-624. (2004).

G.A. Graham, P.G. Grant, R.J. Chater, A.J. Westphal, A.T. Kearsley, C. Snead, G. Domínguez, A.L. Butterworth, D.S. McPhail, G. Bench, J.P. Bradley, Investigation of ion beam techniques for the analysis and exposure of particles encapsulated by silica aerogel: Applicability for StardustMeteoritics and Planetary Science 39, 1461-1474 (2004).

G. Domínguez, A.J. Westphal, S.M. Jones, M.L.F. Phillips, Fluorescent Impact Cavities in a Titatium Doped Al2O3-SiO2 Aerogel:  Implications for the Velocity Resolution of Calorimetric Aerogels.  Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, v. 350C pp 385-390.  (2004).

G. Domínguez, A.J. Westphal , M.L.F. Phillips, S.M. Jones,  A Fluorescent Aerogel for Capture and Identification of Extraterrestrial Dust, The Astrophysical Journal, v. 592, pgs. 631-635 (2003).

Working Manuscripts

G. Dominguez and G. Wilkins, "Energy Loss, Thermal Transport, and Particle Survival in Low-density Collectors", in prep.

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