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Michael De Volder, Engineering Department - IfM

Studying at Cambridge


Group Members

The NanoManufacturing Group Members


Principal Investigator


Prof Michael De Volder

Michael De Volder is Professor of Advanced Materials Engineering at the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of St John's College. Michael performed his PhD research on MEMS actuators at the University of Leuven in Belgium and in part at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan. He then joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan and Harvard University as a postdoc researcher in the field of nanotechnology. He also worked for several years at imec - an industry funded microelectronics research institute - before joining the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. He is a recipient of an ERC starting grant as well as an ERC Consolidator Grant and he is holder of several industrial and academic awards including the Iwan Akerman Award, the Barco High-Tech Award and the Robert M Caddell award. He is a Laureate of the Belgian Royal Academy, vice president of LIAM - a North Carolina based nanotech company and Co_founder of Echion Technologies and Myriofoam (UK). 



Post-Doctoral Researchers


Dr Davor Copic
Davor received his PhD degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He investigates carbon nanotube (CNT) nanocomposite and polymer microstructures and actuators for use in microtextured and active surfaces under Dr. A. John Hart. Actuators were fabricated using capillary driven infiltration of CNT microstructures with various active materials and replica molding (REM) of master templates in both thermally and optically active liquid crystal networks (LCN). His long term interests include synthesis of carbon nanomaterials, nanomanufacturing, additive manufacturing of structural and active composites, novel sensors and microactuators.


Buddha Deka Boruah's Profile picture

Dr Buddha Deka Boruah

Buddha Deka Boruah received a Newton International Fellowship (NIF-Royal Society) to join the Nanomanufacturing as a postdoctoral fellow. He obtained his B.Sc. in Physics from Cotton college, Assam, India and subsequently his M.Sc. degree in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, India. Thereafter, he received his M.S. in Engineering-Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, India. His research interests involve Electrochemical Energy Storage Systems, On-chip and Planar Energy Storage Devices, Self-powered Energy Storage Devices and Advanced Hybrid Devices: Energy Conversion and Storage.


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Dr Wesley Dose
Wes was awarded his PhD in Chemistry in 2014 from the University of Newcastle (Australia). He then worked as a visiting researcher at the University of New South Wales (Australia) and as a postdoc at Argonne National Laboratory (USA). His research has mainly focused on understanding the physicochemical-electrochemical properties of cathodes and anodes for Li-ion, Na-ion and Li-primary batteries. At Argonne his research investigated strategies to increase the lithium inventory in Li-ion batteries with Si-containing anodes. As part of the Faraday Degradation project, his current research is focused on how conductive carbon influences the electrolyte and NCM electrode stability at high voltage.


Hsin-Ling Profile Pic

Dr Hsin-Ling Liang
Hsin-Ling received her BSc and MSc in the Department of Engineering and System Science from National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan). She then worked as an R&D engineer at the Taiwan-based polyimide film manufacturer Taimide Technology, after which she moved to Germany for doctoral studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Her thesis focused on studies of nematic and smectic liquid crystalline order in the spherical shell geometry, involving microfluidic fabrication of small molecular and elastomeric liquid crystal shells. She carried on liquid crystal research in device applications in the Photonics and Sensors Group (CAPE, Cambridge University), where she worked on dye-doped liquid crystals and the roll-to-roll production of switchable liquid crystal panels. Her current project concerns roll-to-roll manufacturability of nano-materials.



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Dr Sulki Park

Sul Ki Park joined the IfM in September 2019 as a postdoctoral associate in Michael De Volder’s group. She received her Ph.D (2019) in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea. She investigates nanomaterials as electrodes in energy storage systems such as Li-ion batteries and supercapacitors. In addition, she has focused on understanding the energy storage mechanism using in-situ analysis. Her current research is focused on characterisation electrochemical properties of electrode materials by fabricating micro-electrochemical cell using lithography process.



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Dr Yeonguk Son

Yeonguk Son is currently a postdoctoral associate at the laboratories of both Dr. Michael De Volder (IfM) and Dr. Adam Boies (Division of Energy) at the University of Cambridge. Yeonguk received his B.S. degree (2012) and Ph.D. degree (2018) in the Department of Energy and Chemical Engineering at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST, Republic of Korea). His research interests are materials design and analysis for lithium-ion batteries and next generation energy storage applications. His ultimate goal is to develop innovative energy storage devices or electrode materials which could replace current lithium-ion batteries or its electrode materials.


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Dr Xiao Zhang
Xiao Zhang received his PhD degree on Condensed Matter Physics from Prof. Sishen Xie's group, in the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, investigating the preparation of some novel carbon nanomaterials (especially ultralong suspended CNTs). He developed a novel optical visualization method for single tubes, with which intrinsic optical and thermal properties could be characterized. In University of Cambridge, during his research associate period at Department of Engineering, he will focus on the subject of CNT Synthesis and Characterization (especially on the thermal conductivity enhancement) by working together in the group of Dr. Adam Boies in Division of Energy, and the Nanomanufacturing group of Dr. Michael De Volder in Institute for Manufacturing.



Seungkyu Park is currently a postdoctoral associate in the group of Prof. Michael De Volder at the University of Cambridge. Yeonguk received his B.S. degree (2014) and Ph.D. degree (2020) in the Department of Energy Engineering at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST, Republic of Korea). His research interests are materials synthesis and analysis for high energy Li-ion batteries. His current research is focused on development of high energy Li-ion batteries based on Ni-rich cathode and Si anodes.


PhD Students

Charlie Barty-King profile pic

Charlie Barty-King
Charlie is developing a structurally-coloured, iridescent material for use in various industries. The material is easily formulated compared to other photonic crystals, is fully bio-compatible and can dynamically respond to its environment, observed by a change in colour. Charlie and his supervisor, Michael De Volder (Nanomanufacturing), and advisor, Silvia Vignolini (Bio-inspired Photonics), are collaborating to bring this lab-proven photonic technology into the industrial domain by investigating applications and industrial scalability.

More information on the material can be found here. While a synopsis of Charlie's work before joining the Nanomanufacturing group can be found here.


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Maxime Burgonse
Maxime Burgonse from EPFL (Switzerland) is visiting the University of Cambridge as a part of his master degree. His research is focused on advanced manufacturing techniques of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) microstructures for space applications.



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Aoife Gregg

Aoife is a PhD student with the NanoDTC (2018 cohort) working on artificial cilia forests, which are composed of CNT scaffolds functionalised with PNIPAM (a thermoresponsive polymer). The aim is to create light- and temperature-responsive cilia arrays for applications such as smart surfaces with switchable emissivity. Her primary supervisor is Prof Jeremy Baumberg of the NanoPhotonics Centre and she is co-supervised by Dr Michael De Volder.

Aoife completed her bachelor's degree in Nanoscience, Physics and Chemistry of Advanced Materials in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.


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Sammy Mahdi
Sammy completed his BEng Electronic Engineering in The University of Manchester focusing on developing instrumentation for brain-computer interfaces. Later he joined the Sensors CDT and is currently working on developing novel technologies for infrared sensing. The aim of the project is to develop high performance/low cost infrared imaging system using carbon nanotubes that can be used in future autonomous vehicles. In his spare time, Sammy is working for WaterScope, a Cambridge based-startup aiming to develop an easy-to use, low cost solution for bacteria detection. Sammy is part of Christ's College where he is a member of the MCR committee and is also rowing for the first men's team.


Vinay Malhotra profile pic

Vinay Malhotra
Vinay is a member of Darwin College where he achieved his MRes through the Graphene Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) at the University of Cambridge and is now researching 2D nanomaterial structures for improving electrode performance in redox-flow battery systems. The project is jointly supervised by Dr Michael de Volder and Professor Clare Grey, and is an industrial collaboration with Royal Dutch Shell plc. (LON:RDSA). Vinay graduated with a BSc in Physics with Nanoscience and technology at the University of Leicester. Vinay has interests in escape rooms, Japanese language and culture, photography, technology, politics, computers & video games, visual narratives and music.


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Angus Mathieson
Angus is a PhD candidate working collaboratively with the IfM and Cavendish Laboratories using hybrid perovskite organic semi-conductors to develop a novel photobattery device. He is jointly supervised by Dr Michael DeVolder (IfM) and Dr Felix Deschler (Optoelectronics, Physics). 

Angus completed his MSc (Physics) degree at Durham University in 2017 during which he developed a new approach to the extraction and deposition of graphene and other two-dimensional materials for thin film applications. In the following year he obtained an MRes (Distinction) degree as part of his Graphene CDT course at the University of Cambridge, during which he undertook a theoretical project using density functional theory to model the changes in the electronic and vibrational properties of layered materials as they approach the two-dimensional limit. He then begun his current work in 2D/3D organo-metal hybrid perovskites for photovoltaic and battery applications.


Jędrzej Morzy profile pic

Jędrzej Morzy
Jędrzej completed his BSc and MSc in Nanotechnology at Gdańsk University of Technology in Poland. Currently, he is a PhD student within the Doctoral Training Centre in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NanoDTC) doing a PhD project focused on lithium ion battery cathode materials’ degradation during cycling using in situ electron microscopy. He primary supervisor is Dr Caterina Ducati (Electron Microscopy Group, MSM Dept.) and co-supervised by Dr Michael De Volder.


Kate Sanders profile pic

Kate Sanders
Kate Sanders is an NanoDTC PhD candidate (c. 2016) working on hierarchically structured carbon nanomaterials with a focus on catalysis and water purification applications. Her PhD is is co-supervised by Dr Laura Torrente (Catalysis and Process Integration group). During her MRes year she completed rotation projects in the mechanical properties of CNT films, the synthesis of double perovskite nanocrystals and the organic synthesis of a drug delivery complex. Prior to this, Kate graduated from University College London in 2016 with an MSci in Chemistry, working on biomimetic polymer-clay nanocomposites for her Masters project. She is a member of Wolfson College. 



Chris Valentine profile pic

Chris Valentine
The focus of the work Chris is undertaking for his PhD is on the development of carbon nanotube based electrodes for use within electrochemical sensors. Chris is mainly working on producing structured CNT forests, which can be used as the working electrode within a three-electrode system. He is controlling the structure, porosity and surface area of the CNT forest, as well as the functionalisation of the CNT surface to improve the design of the next generation of electrochemical sensors. Additionally Chris works on disposable paper based electrochemical sensors, again studying the affect structure has on the final sensing capabilities of the devices. Chris is a member of the Sensor Technologies and Applications CDT and a recipient of the Leete Premium award.



Bo Wen profile pictureBo Wen
Bo Wen is a Graphene CDT candidate who joined NanoManufacturing group led by Dr Michael De Volder in 2018, focusing primarily on Hierarchical rGO-Layered Oxide Composites for High Energy Density Lithium-ion Battery Cathodes. The PhD project is co-supervised by Prof. Clare Grey FRS from Chemistry. His MRes year was finished at Cambridge Graphene Centre, during which he worked on the silicon-graphene hybridised materials for the anodes of lithium-ion batteries. Prior to this, Bo Wen graduated as the 2017 Top Graduate in BEng Chemical Engineering from University of Manchester. He is a member of Clare College.




Ismail is a PhD researcher who is part of the Graphene CDT and is working on project is co-supervised by Dr Adrian Fisher (Chemical Engineering and Biotchenology), Prof Manish Chhowalla (Material Science and Metallurgy) and Michael De Volder (Department of Engineering). The focus of his project is to research biomimetic electrochemical actuators using 2D battery materials.

Ismail completed his MPhys in Theoretical Physics at the University of Manchester where he researched the dynamics of football with Manchester City. During his degree he embarked on a prestigious year abroad at the University of California, Berkeley where he modelled active volcanoes in California using seismic waves. In his MRes year at the University of Cambridge he researched the Hall effect in high-T superconductors, and also the interaction of graphene with algae for applications in bio-photovoltaics.



After finishing his MRes degree in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the University of Cambridge in 2020, Jien joined the NanoManucfacturing group led by Prof Michael De Volder for his PhD. The focus of his project is to improve the packing of active materials and the transport of ionic species within battery electrodes. To this end, a bottom up approach will be undertaken to sequentially assemble battery materials into higher order structures that can bring about improved battery stability and greater energy density.




Lifu Tan is a Graphene CDT candidate who joined the NanoManufacturing group led by Prof Michael De Volder in 2020, focusing primarily on Photo-rechargeable energy storage devices using 2D materials. The PhD project is co-supervised by Prof. Jeremy Baumberg and Prof. Clare Grey. His MRes year was finished at Cambridge Graphene Centre, during which he worked on graphene-polymer composites for ultrafast lasers and swelling behaviour in Silicon-graphene based Li-ion battery anodes. Prior to this, Lifu Tan graduated as the 2019 Top Graduate in BSc Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Manchester. He is a member of Queens’ College.


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