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

Foglia F, Frick B, Nania M, et al., 2022, Multimodal confined water dynamics in reverse osmosis polyamide membranes, Nature Communications, Vol:13, ISSN:2041-1723

Pellegrino L, Tan A, Cabral JT, 2022, Ripple patterns spontaneously emerge through sequential wrinkling interference in polymer bilayers, Physical Review Letters, Vol:128, ISSN:0031-9007

Pont S, Foglia F, Higgins A, et al., 2018, Stability of polymer:PCBM thin films under competitive illumination and thermal stress, Advanced Functional Materials, Vol:28, ISSN:1616-301X

Vitale A, Hennessy MG, Matar OK, et al., 2015, A Unified Approach for Patterning via Frontal Photopolymerization, Advanced Materials, Vol:27, ISSN:0935-9648, Pages:6118-6124

Leguy AMA, Frost JM, McMahon AP, et al., 2015, Corrigendum: The dynamics of methylammonium ions in hybrid organic–inorganic perovskite solar cells, Nature Communications, Vol:6, ISSN:2041-1723

Gorgojo P, Karan S, Wong HC, et al., 2014, Ultrathin Polymer Films with Intrinsic Microporosity: Anomalous Solvent Permeation and High Flux Membranes, Advanced Functional Materials, Vol:24, ISSN:1616-3028, Pages:4729-4737

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

More Publications