Giorgio Volpe

Principal Investigator

I am an Associate Professor (Reader) in Physical Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, University College London (UCL). You can find my detailed citation metrics at Publons, Google Scholar or ResearchGate. Before joining UCL as a Lecturer in Physical Chemistry in 2014, I was a CNRS postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratoire Kastler Brossel and at the Institut Langevin (Paris, France), where I performed research on nanophotonics of scattering media and wavefront shaping. My advisor was Prof Sylvain Gigan. In May 2012, I obtained my PhD at ICFO – The Institute of Photonic Sciences (Barcelona, Spain). My advisor was Prof Romain Quidant. During my PhD, my research was focused primarily on optimizing light-matter interaction with very small quantities of matter down to the single molecule level. In particular, I explored novel ways of controlling the optical response of nanoantennas either through novel designs or in a dynamical and deterministic way by spatially shaping the illumination. Before enrolling in the PhD program, I received my Master’s degree in Bioengineering from the University of Padua (Italy) in October 2007.


Matthew O Blunt

Co-Investigator

Matt received his Phd in 2007 from the University of Nottingham, where his research focussed on far-from equilibrium pattern formation in colloidal nanoparticle thin-films and the impact that complex patterns have on charge transport in two-dimensional layers. Between 2007 – 2010 Matt worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate also at the University of Nottingham studying two-dimensional (2D) supramolecular self-assembly at solid-liquid interfaces with a focus on host-guest chemistry in 2D molecular networks and random tiling models for 2D self-assembly. In 2010 Matt moved to the Division of Molecular Imaging and Photonics in the Department of Chemistry at KU Leuven as a Marie Curie Intra-European Research Fellow working on thermally triggered phase transitions in 2D supramolecular layers and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. In 2012 Mat moved to the Department of Chemistry at University College London to take up a position as lecturer in in Physical Chemistry. Matt’s research group is focussed on using surface science techniques such as scanning probe microscopy and spectroscopy to study 2D molecular layers including and assess their potential for organic electronics and electrocatalysis.


Bob C Schroeder

Co-Investigator

Bob received his PhD in 2013 from Imperial College, where his research focussed on the synthesis of pi-conjugated materials and polymers for applications in organic electronic devices (i.e. organic photovoltaics (OPV), organic field effect transistors (OFET), organic light emitting diodes, etc.). He then moved to the Department of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University (2014) as a Postdoctoral Research Associate where he worked on the development of self-healing conjugated polymers for stretchable skin-like electronics. In Spring 2016, Bob joined the Materials Research Institute and the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary University of London as an Academic Fellow, and Principal Investigator. In early 2018, Bob relocated his research group to the Department of Chemistry at University College London, to take-up an appointment as Lecturer, and where he is currently an Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry. The group’s current research focuses on the development of organic thermoelectric materials, and supramolecular interactions in organic semiconductors to enhance their electronic properties.


Harsh Bhatia

Postdoctoral Researcher

Currently, I am working as postdoctoral research associate in the groups of Dr Giorgio Volpe and Dr Bob Schroeder to develop organic semiconductor materials for printing applications. I received my M.Sc. in Chemistry from the Central University of Kerala (India) in 2015. In 2016, I joined Dr Debdas Ray’s group at Shiv Nadar University (India) first as a Junior Research Fellow and then as Ph.D. research scholar. During my Ph.D., my research was based on designing, synthesising and understanding the photophysical properties of purely organic persistent luminescence-based room temperature phosphorescence (RTP) materials. Alongside, my research interest was to develop thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) based molecules and understanding the photophysics of simultaneous TADF and RTP from these single molecular systems. I completed my Ph.D. in October 2020 and then moved to University College London (UCL) in March 2021 as postdoctoral research associate under the joint supervision of Dr Robert Palgrave and Dr Bob Schroeder to work on Bismuth based coordination complexes for solar light absorption.


Robert Malinowski

Postdoctoral Researcher

I am a Research Fellow in the Volpe group investigating the deposition of materials from controllable, motile droplets. I am currently building on my PhD work where I developed a method of manipulating these droplets using only a small source of vapour, allowing intricate control over their behaviours and the materials within them. We hope to use this phenomenon to extract enhanced functionalities from different materials using this interplay between chemistry and physics rather than additives or chemical modification. I have had several industrial roles in between my academic positions, including the synthesis of pharmacological candidates for a BioFocus (now Charles River), the synthesis of polycarbonate catalysts for Econic Technologies and the heterogenous functionalisation of cellulose nanofibers for affinity chromatography for Cytiva.