Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering

Professor of Soft Matter



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




Mrs Sarah Payne +44 (0)20 7594 5567




517AACE ExtensionSouth Kensington Campus






Date Role
2018-present Professor of Soft Matter Engineering 
2014-2018 Reader in Soft Matter, Imperial College London
2014-2015 Visiting professor at Institute for Molecular Engineering (IME), University of Chicago, USA
2010-2014 Senior lecturer, Imperial College London 
2005-2010 Lecturer in Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London 
2002-2005 Foreign Guest Researcher, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), USA
1998-2002 PhD in Polymer Science, Imperial College London
1997 Laboratoire Léon Brillouin, Saclay, France
1996 Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden
1992-1997 Physics degree, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal

Research Interests

Please check our Polymers & Microfluidics Group website

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.

Other information

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Pellegrino L, Khodaparast S, Cabral JT, 2020, Orthogonal wave superposition of wrinkled, plasma-oxidised, polydimethylsiloxane surfaces, Soft Matter, Vol:16, ISSN:1744-683X, Pages:595-603

Li Z, Wong HC, Huang Z, et al., 2013, Performance enhancement of fullerene-based solar cells by light processing, Nature Communications, Vol:4, ISSN:2041-1723

Wong HC, Higgins AM, Wildes AR, et al., 2013, Patterning Polymer-Fullerene Nanocomposite Thin Films with Light, Advanced Materials, Vol:25, ISSN:0935-9648, Pages:985-991

Wong HC, Cabral JT, 2011, Mechanism and Kinetics of Fullerene Association in Polystyrene Thin Film Mixtures, Macromolecules, Vol:44, ISSN:0024-9297, Pages:4530-4537

Wong HC, Cabral JT, 2010, Spinodal Clustering in Thin Films of Nanoparticle-Polymer Mixtures, Physical Review Letters, Vol:105, ISSN:0031-9007

Wong HC, Sanz A, Douglas JF, et al., 2010, Glass formation and stability of polystyrene-fullerene nanocomposites, Journal of Molecular Liquids, Vol:153, ISSN:0167-7322, Pages:79-87

Valera FE, Quaranta M, Moran A, et al., 2010, The Flow's the Thing ... Or Is It? Assessing the Merits of Homogeneous Reactions in Flask and Flow, Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, Vol:49, ISSN:1433-7851, Pages:2478-2485

Cabral JT, Higgins JS, 2009, Small Angle Neutron Scattering from the Highly Interacting Polymer Mixture TMPC/PSd: No Evidence of Spatially Dependent chi Parameter, Macromolecules, Vol:42, ISSN:0024-9297, Pages:9528-9536

Chiche A, Stafford CM, Cabral JT, 2008, Complex micropatterning of periodic structures on elastomeric surfaces, Soft Matter, Vol:4, ISSN:1744-683X, Pages:2360-2364

Cabral, J.T., Hudson, S.D., 2006, Microfluidic approach for rapid multicomponent interfacial tensiometry, Lab on a Chip, Vol:6, ISSN:1473-0197, Pages:427-436

Cabral JT, Douglas JF, 2005, Propagating waves of network formation induced by light, Polymer, Vol:46, ISSN:0032-3861, Pages:4230-4241

Cabral JT, Hudson SD, Harrison C, et al., 2004, Frontal photopolymerization for microfluidic applications, Langmuir, Vol:20, ISSN:0743-7463, Pages:10020-10029

More Publications