As feature sizes decrease, their properties are increasingly dominated by the interface behaviour. Therefore, we have strong expertise in the characterisation and modelling of surfaces and interfaces, in particular their morphology, structure and electronic properties.

Experimental techniques that are available at Imperial include transmission electron microscopy, with which we achieve atomic resolution and chemical mapping on the nanoscale, a new secondary ion mass spectrometer, which is uniquely coupled with a low energy ion scattering chamber, and scanning probe techniques. We also specialise in synchrotron-based experiments at national laboratories (ESRF, Stanford, Argonne) and modelling using a range of theoretical tools.


NameTitle and Research interests

Tim Albrecht


Reader in Physical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - focus on electrochemical processes on the nanoscale

Research interests span a range of different areas from single-molecule conductance studies in molecular lectronics to ion and biopolymer transport in small solid-state nanopores.


Neil Alford


Professor of Physical Electronics and Thin Film Materials, Vice-Dean (Research) Faculty of Engineering

Current research is targeted towards Energy Materials.


Joao Cabral

Reader in Soft Matter, Deparment of Chemical   Engineering, focus on polymers and microfluids

Research interests are in soft condensed matter, in particular in complex polymer mixtures, multicomponent systems, often containing particles and opolymers. currently studying 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.


Mike Finnis


Professor, Chair in Materials Theory and Simulation, Department of Materials

Research interest is in exploring the links between electronic structure of materials, the behaviour of their atoms, thermodynamic functions and the evolution of Microstructure.


Saif Haque


Reader in Materials Chemistry, Department of Chemistry

Research interests lie in the area of solar energy conversion and molecular electronics.


Nicholas Harrison


Professor, Chair of Computational Materials Science, Department of Chemistry

Research interests lie in the area of quantum mechanical modelling of material properties with the aim of discovering new functional materials.


Sandrine Heutz


Reader in Functional Molecular Materials, Department of Materials

Current research directions are focused on magnetic properties of molecular thin films, spintronic applications, novel fabrication methods for oxides, detailed structural characterisation of films and interfaces, and nanowire devices.


John Kilner


Professor, BCH Steele Chair in Energy Materials, Department of Materials

Research interest in studying the exchange and diffusion of oxygen in oxide ceramic materials for applications in devices such as fuel cells, oxygen separators and sensors, and has been instrumental in the development of isotopic exchange-sims techniques to study these phenomena.


Norbert Klein


Professor, Chair in Electromagnetic Nanomaterials, Department of Materials

Main scientific activities are in the area of electromagnetic material characterisation and sensor applications, but also on microwave and terahertz devices for communication and sensing. One current focus is on graphene and related 2D materials.


Joshua Edel


Professor in Micro and Nanotechnology, Department of Chemistry

Research covers nanobiotechnology with an emphasis on the development of micro and nanofluidic devices for analytical and bio-analytical applications and ultra-high sensitivity optical detection techniques.


Arash Mostofi

Assistant Director of the CDT in Theory and Simulation of Materials, and Director of the Thomas Young Centre for Theory and Simulation, Department of Materials

Research is dedicated to the development and application of first-principles modelling tools for the theory and simulation of materials.


Mary Ryan


Professor of Materials Science & Nanotechnology, Department of Materials

Current research is in the area of applied electrochemistry and corrosion, with a focus on deposition of nanostructures and the study of self- forming nanocrystalline oxides; as well as fundamental work on degradation and stability of metal systems.


Stephen Skinner


Professor of Materials Chemistry, Department of Materials

Research interests are in materials for new energy technologies and primarily concerned with the chemical and physical properties of solid oxide fuel cell electrolytes and electrodes, encompassing the electrical and structural characteristics of materials.


Molly Stevens


Professor of Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Medicine and the Research Director for Biomedical Material Sciences in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering

Research is focused on both high quality fundamental science and translation for human health. Research in regenerative medicine within her group includes the directed differentiation of stem cells, the design of novel bioactive scaffolds and new approaches towards tissue regeneration.


Adrian Sutton


Professor, Chairman of CDT in Theory and Simulations of Materials, Department of Physics

Research interests are at the interface between condensed matter physics and materials science. Current work involves theory spanning classical and quantum mechanics, elastic field theory of defects and their interactions in solids, transport of atoms, electrons and heat in solids,  hermodynamics and statistical mechanics, electronic structure and interatomic forces.