Paola Zuppella obtained the PhD in Physics in 2009 at L’Aquila University, Italy. Since October 2011, she is researcher at the Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies (CNR–IFN)-Padova.

Paola is an experimental researcher with a cultural background in applied physics. She worked on the development of coherent and incoherent EUV capillary discharge sources in the years spent at L’Aquila University; she is currently focused on development, characterization and metrology of optical coatings, polarizer filters and integrated space instrumentation.

Involved in several space missions and member of the school committee of the graduate School of Science, Measurements and Spatial Technologies of Padova University, she performed the calibration of the optical subsystems of PHEBUS spectrometer onboard BepiColombo mission and contributed to the preliminary studies on optical coatings for Metis coronagraph. She is currently National PA Manager in the Ariel space mission and Co-I of the EnVisS instrument onboard Comet Interceptor mission.

In addition to space activities, Paola was also involved in the dissemination project PHABALABS 4.0 (Horizon2020, Grant Agreement n° 731610,, in ACTPHAST 4.0 (Horizon2020 Grant Agreement n° 779472, rapid prototyping incubator for supporting photonics innovation by European companies, and ACTPHAST 4R (Horizon2020, Grant Agreement n° 779472

She is currently in PhotonHub Europe (Horizon 2020, Grant Agreement n*101016665,

Primary roles:

  • Co-I of METIS instrument onboard Solar Orbiter ESA space mission;
  • Co-I of EnVisS instrument on board Comet Interceptor space mission;
  • National and Telescope Assembly PA manager for Ariel ESA space mission;
  • Responsible of the cleanroom facilities at CNR-IFN Padova.


  • Optical metrology (laboratory, large-scale facility);
  • EUV metrology;
  • Atomic Force Microscope (AFM);
  • PA/QA management.

Research activity

Optical Instrumentation for space astronomy

Nanostructured optical coating

Research unit


Contact details

Paola Zuppella, PhD
Via Trasea, 7
35131 Padova
tel: 0039 049 9815714