Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering

Reader in Soft Matter



+44 (0)20 7594 5571j.cabral Website




Mrs Sarah Payne +44 (0)20 7594 5567




517AACE ExtensionSouth Kensington Campus





My research interests are in soft condensed matter, in particular in complex polymer mixtures, multicomponent systems, often containing particles and copolymers. We study the thermodynamics and dynamics or polymer blends with a combination of real- and reciprocal-space techniques, including microscopy and AFM, and light, X-ray and neutron scattering.

We are interested in exploring microfluidics for soft matter processing, seizing their commensurate length and timescales. We are also interested in the patterning and device fabrication and explore ‘Frontal photopolymerisation’ (FPP) to rapidly create 3D structures that, moreover, are compatible with an array of organic solvents. We also developed a sound theoretical understanding of the nature of front propagation, which exhibits intriguing kinetics. In terms of applications, we work on microprocessing as a means to tune structure and performance of complex fluids, as well as interfacial tensiometry, and coupling of charcterisation approaches such as scattering. 

Finally, we develop high-throughput and combinatorial approaches for polymer mixtures and network formation. We are now elaborating on scattering and spectroscopic tools to elucidate aspects of morphology and stability of elusive soft matter systems.


Image gallery



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Surface wrinkles






Microdevices for spectroscopy


Fullerene circuit

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Selected Research Projects

Recent publications

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  • A. Sanz, H.C. Wong, A.J. Nedoma, J. F. Douglas and J. T. Cabral, "Influence of C60 fullerenes on the glass formation of polystyrene", Polymer in press (2015)
  • M.G. Hennessy, A. Vitale, O.K. Matar, and J. T. Cabral, "Controlling frontal photopolymerization with optical attenuation and mass diffusion" Phys. Rev. E in press (2015)
  • A. M. A. Leguy, J. M. Frost, A. McMahon, V. G. Sakai,W. Kochelmann, C.H. Law, X. Li, F. Foglia, A.Walsh, B. C. O’Regan, J. Nelson, J. T. Cabral, P. R. F. Barnes, "The dynamics of methyl ammonium ions in hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite solar cells" Nature Comm. ASAP (2015)
  • R. Dattani and J. T. Cabral, "Polymer fullerene solution phase behaviour and film formation pathways", Soft Matter 11, 3125-3131 (2015) 
  • M. Mania, O. K. Matar, and J. T. Cabral, "Frontal vitrification of PDMS using air plasma and consequences for surface wrinkling", Soft Matter 11, 3067-3075 (2015) 
  • R. Dattani, K. Gibson, S. Few, A. Borg, P. DiMaggio, J. Nelson, S. Kazarian, and J. T. Cabral, "Fullerene Oxidation and Clustering in Solution Induced by Light", J. Colloid. Interface. Sci. 446, 24-30 (2015)
  • R. Dattani, M. Telling, C.G. Lopez, S. Krishnadasan, J.H. Bannock, A. Terry, J.C. de Mello, J.T. Cabral and A.J. Nedoma, "Immersion precipitation: an alternative to solvent casting for organic solar cells", Chem. Phys. Chem. (2015) 
  • A. Vitale, M.G. Hennessy, O.K. Matar, and J. T. Cabral, "Interfacial profile and propagation of frontal photopolymerization waves" Macromolecules 48, 198-205 (2015)
  • C. G. Lopez, T. Watanabe, A. Martel, L. Porcar, and J. T. Cabral "Microfluidic-SANS: flow processing of complex fluids" Sci. Rep.  5, 7727 (2015)
  • C. G. Lopez, S. E. Rogers, R. H. Colby, P. Graham, J. T. Cabral, "Structure of Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose aqueous solutions: A SANS and rheology study", J. Polym. Sci. B: Pol. Phys. 53: 492–501.(2015) 
  • B.C. Schroder, Z. Li, M. A. Brady, G. C. Faria, R. S. Ashraf, C. J. Takacs, J. S. Cowart, D. T. Duong, K. H. Chiu, C.H. Tang, J. T. Cabral, A. Salleo, M. L. Chabinyc, J. R. Durrant, I. McCulloch,Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 53, 12870-12875 (2014)
  • R. Dattani, R. Michels, A. J. Nedoma, R. Schweins, P. Westacott, K. Huber, J.T. Cabral "Conformation and Interactions of Polystyrene and Fullerenes in Dilute to Semidilute solutions",Macromolecules 47, 6113–6120 (2014)
  • R Dattani, J H Bannock, Z Fei, R C I MacKenzie, A Guilbert, M S Vezie, J Nelson, J C de Mello, M Heeney, J T Cabral and A J Nedoma, "A General Mechanism for Controlling Thin Film Structures in All-Conjugated Block Copolymer:Fullerene Blends", J. Mater. Chem. A 2, 14711-14719 (2014)
  • P. Gorgojo, S. Karan, H. C. Wong, M. F. Jimenez-Solomon, J.T. Cabral, and A. G. Livingston, "Ultrathin Polymer Films with Intrinsic Microporosity: Anomalous Solvent Permeation and High Flux Membranes", Adv Func Mater 24, 4729-4737 (2014)
  • T. Watanabe, C. G. Lopez, J. F. Douglas, T. Ono, J. T. Cabral, " Microfluidic Approach for the Formation of Internally Porous Polymer Particles by Solvent Extraction" Langmuir 30, 2470-2479 (2014)
  • H. C. Wong, Z. Li, C. H. Tan, H. Zhong, Z. Huang, H. Bronstein, I. McCulloch, J. T. Cabral, J. R. Durrant, "Morphological Stability and Performance of Polymer-Fullerene Solar Cells Under Thermal Stress - the Impact of Photo-Induced PC60BM Oligomerisation", ACS Nano 8, 1297-1308 (2014)
  • A. Bayley, J. Liao, P. Stavrinou, A. Chiche and J. T. Cabral "Wavefront kinetics of plasma oxidation of polydimethyl siloxane: limits for sub-micron wrinkling" Soft Matter 10, 1155-1166 (2014) - 2014 Soft Matter Hot paper
  • Z Li, H. C. Wong, Z, Huang, H. Zhong, C. H. Tan, W. C. Tsoi, J. S. Kim, J. R. Durrant, and J. T. Cabral "Performance Enhancement of fullerene-based solar cells by light processing" Nat. Comms. 4, 2227 (2013) 
  • H. C. Wong, A. M. Higgins, A. R. Wildes, J. F. Douglas and J. T. Cabral "Patterning polymer-fullerene nanocomposite thin films with light" Adv. Mater. 25, 985-991 (2013)