The group in February 2019: a short bio for each group member follows just below.SAM group.GIF

Giorgio Volpe

Principal Investigator

Giorgio Volpe_02.jpgI am a Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, University College London (UCL). You can find my detailed citation metrics at ResearcherID or Google Scholar. Previously, 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.

Valentino Barbieri

PhD Student

valentino-e1539015911661.pngI am currently studying for my PhD under the joint supervision of Dr Giorgio Volpe and Prof Battaglia at UCL. The project focuses on the development of plasmonic-activated polymer nanovescicles capable of autonomous movement driven by external light stimulation. Such bioinspired nanorobots have a huge potential for applications in the field of targeted drug delivery. Before starting my PhD, I worked as a process development engineer for a multinational semiconductor company for almost 3 years. I received my Master’s degree in Materials Engineering and Nanotechnology from Politecnico di Milano (Italy). My final thesis project dealt with the investigation of charge transfer between metal nanoparticles and carbon atom wires by vibrational spectroscopy.

Alessia Gentili

PhD Student

Alessia_GentiliI am a PhD student under the supervision of Dr Giorgio Volpe. My project deals with the study of the physics of foraging and aims at identifying optimal search strategies in active matter systems at all scales. In particular, Janus particles will be used as model systems to implement different bio-inspired collective search strategies, in order to confirm or not their validity both at an experimental and theoretical level. The main goal is to obtain critical information that will allow the development of searchers that can successfully explore space, for example, to optimise the release of drugs in the human body at the microscale or to perform efficient search-and-rescue missions at the macroscale. Before working at UCL, I graduated in Physics from La Sapienza University, Rome (Italy), with a master thesis focusing on the study of stationary states of photokinetic bacteria, i.e. bacteria whose speed can be controlled by light, in static and dynamic light patterns.

Robert Malinowski

PhD Student

Rob.jpgI am currently studying for my PhD under Dr Giorgio Volpe and Prof Ivan Parkin at UCL. My project centers on controlling the Coffee Ring Effect, with the scope to study far-from-equilibrium systems, including active matter in complex environments and self-assembly. Previous to starting my PhD, I worked in industry: half a year in catalyst research for polycarbonate manufacture, and 9 months in pharmaceuticals. My masters at Imperial College focused on the synthesis of air-sensitive inorganic catalysts, so I have a broad range of synthetic skills.

Manish Trivedi

PhD Student

Manish.jpgHi there dear reader! I am currently undertaking a PhD utilising active Brownian particles under Dr Giorgio Volpe. We aim to develop active Janus particles and study their movement in binary liquid mixtures. Their propulsion mechanisms will be dominated by a local demixing in the binary fluid; resulting from an imbalance in temperature from laser illumination of the Janus particles. This study will take us deep within the realms of non-equilibrium physics, an area in which there is a dearth in current understanding. My most recent venture was a master’s degree in Nanotechnology with Regenerative Medicine at UCL. The final project involved imbuing cancer cells with gold nanoparticles to test for radiosensitivity effects with proton therapy. Previous to this I completed a master’s degree in Physics (also at UCL) and continued to work as a research assistant in an optomechanics lab for two years; levitating nanoparticles via optical and electronic tweezers under vacuum. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or expressions of interest, in any of the work that I have been involved with (or am currently doing). Thanks for reading!


Dr Stanislaw Makarchuk – PDRA

Mr Lancelot Barthe – Erasmus+ Intern, ENS Rennes

Mr Muhammed Bilgin – Erasmus+ Intern, Bilkent University

Mr Joseph Buckley – 4th Year Undergraduate Student

Mr Flis Gniewomir – 4th Year Undergraduate Student

Mr Bilal Hassan – MRes Student

Mr Robert McDonald – 4th Year Undergraduate Student

Ms Yasmin Lau – MRes Student

Mr Korhan Osman – MRes Student

Ms Samantha Su-Ping Rueber – 4th Year Undergraduate Student

Mr Zenon Tropakcioglu – 4th Year Undergraduate Student