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Michael De Volder, Engineering Department - IfM

Studying at Cambridge

NanoManufacturing Group Members

Principal Investigator

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, and 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 a fellow of St John's College.


Postdoctoral Researchers

George received his PhD degree in nanotechnology from the university of Genova, Italy, investigating self-assembly and self-organization processes of nanostructures,  and shortly he joined as a postdoctoral fellow in the research group of Prof.Dr.Liberato Manna, developing advanced colloidal routes to produce tailor-made nanocrystals and their surface engineering/functionalization suitable for visible-infrared light harvesting, bifunctional heterogeneous catalysts, and Li-ion batteries. His long term research interests include the fabrication and assembly of novel nanostructures, and to develop their applications ranging from plasmonic to photo-catalytic to flexible energy conversion/storage devices, as sustainable and cost-effective future technologies.

Davor received his PhD degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He investigating 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.

 received his PhD degree in physics from Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, India, investigating fabrication and the optical, structural and optoelectronic properties of two dimensional inorganic-organic perovskites under Dr. G. Vijaya Prakash. He has been a visiting researcher at Nanophotonics Centre, University of Cambridge under Prof. J Baumberg. His long term research interest includes the fabrication of functional nanostructured materials, development of new techniques to create highly organized assemblies of carbon nanotubes, integrated optoelectronic devices, third-generation photovoltaics.

undertook his PhD at Imperial College London within the field of organic electronics and device physics.  During his PhD Dr Beesley won 1
st place in the EPSRC UKICT Pioneers competition for his work on fabrication complex nano-structured electrical devices. Prior to this he completed an MPhil in Nanotechnology Enterprise at the University of Cambridge conducting research on gallium nitride based LEDs. Dr Beesley has previously been a visiting researcher at the National University of Singapore and The University of Nottingham. He has given talks at leading international conferences including MRS spring/fall and has a strong in interest in the fabrication of nano-structures and device physics.

MehdiDr  undertook his PhD as a Marie Curie Researcher at the Cambridge Centre for Medical Materials at the University of Cambridge (UK), investigating the development of porous, bioactive titanium oxide-based coatings using plasma electrolytic oxidation. Prior to this, he completed his B.A.Sc. and M.A.Sc. at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto (Canada). He also gained industrial experience at Honda (Canada), where he spearheaded several research projects and their implementation into mass production. His long term research interests include micro-/nano-manufacturing of novel, functional surface structures with a wide range of applications, from medicine to sustainable energy conversion and storage devices.

Nicolo has recently obtained a Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship to join the Nanomanufacturing group led by Dr. Michael De Volder. Nicoló is specialized in the electronic applications of carbon nanotube (CNT). During his PhD at the University of Leuven (Belgium) he defined the first European industrial technology for making vertical interconnects in microchips using CNT instead of copper. This technology is implemented nowadays at IMEC (Belgium), a leading research centre in Nano-electronics. In 2011 he joined the CEA of Grenoble (France) for a post-doc project to identify the best way to fabricate horizontal CNT-interconnects and to make reliable electrical contacts to Carbon nanomaterials. Nicoló’s then worked for 2-years at Alstom-Transport (Lyon, France) where he gained industrial process development and optimisation experience. 

LauraDr  was born in La Spezia (Italy) in 1984. She obtained her Master Degree in Organic Chemistry at the University of Rome, "Sapienza" under the supervision of Prof. Lanzalunga, working on sulfoxide chemistry. She then secured a Marie Curie Fellowship to pursue a Ph.D. in the field of Nanotechnology, under the supervision of Prof. Bonifazi at the University of Namur (Belgium). Her research focused on the preparation of novel luminescent material based on CNTs for photonic applications. After a short stay in the group of Prof. Takuzo Aida at Riken (Japan), she joined the group of Prof. De Cola, at the Institut de Science et d'Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (I.S.I.S.) in Strasbourg (France) as a Marie-Curie fellow. As part of the Nanomanufacturing group she is working on chemical modification of CNTs for next generation devices.


ChristophDr Christoph Messner received his PhD degree in Chemistry from the University of Innsbruck, Austria. His PhD thesis was a unique combination of analytical and theoretical chemistry. He developed new enrichment techniques for phosphopeptides and used quantum mechanical methods to explain these bioanalytical techniques at the molecular level. He obtained recently a University of Cambridge / Wellcome Trust Junior Interdisciplinary Fellowship, studying metal ion-metabolite complexes in hydrothermal conditions. Within this project he works together with two research teams at the University of Cambridge, the group of Dr. Markus Ralser at the Biochemistry department and the Nanomanufacturing of Dr. Michael De Volder. 

HsinLing 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. 


PhD Students

hadi obtained his MEng in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cambridge. He subsequently joined the NanoDTC PhD programme, completing a number of nano related projects in his first year before joining the NanoManufacturing group. He is researching hierarchical graphene superstructures for use in energy applications. This project is co-supervisor is Dr. S. Hofmann. He is a member of Selwyn College.  His interests include: graphene nanotechnology, microfabrication, self-assembly, energy storage.

Sarah copy was trained at the University of Bayreuth in Germany in polymer and colloid chemistry. During her Master's degree in Polymer Science she was selected for the Bavarian Elite Study Program in "Macromolecular Science" an intersiciplinary programme in addition to her Master's degree. She did her Bachelor's thesis on Surface patterning for controlling colloidal adsorption and crystallization, and her master's thesis on the Synthesis of gold-nanoparticles. She will join the nanomanufacturing group to study hierarchical carbon nanomaterials and is a member of St. John's College.

is a Graphene CDT PhD Candidate focusing on advanced electrode structures for batteries. He is jointly supervised by Michael de Volder and Clare Grey and a member of Christ's College. Previously, he studied natural sciences at Maastricht University and materials science and engineering at UC Berkeley. At Berkeley, he was first Student and then Research Assistant with Dr Marca Doeff and Dr Kristin Persson at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). During his MRes at the University of Cambridge he studied flexible batteries and graphene oxide surfactants.

Jean  is working on gas-phase synthesis of high throughput self-assembled carbon nanotubes under supervision of Dr. Adam Boies and co-supervision of Dr M. De Volder. The project aims at producing novel nanostructured materials by scalable processes, with a focus on energy storage and water purification applications. Jean graduated from the Ecole Centrale Paris with Masters in Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics. He is the 2013 George and Lillian Schiff scholar, and is also supported by a CHESS studentship. He is a member of King’s college. 


is a Sensor Technology and Applications CDT PhD student. During his PhD he will be focusing on advanced carbon nanotube structures for sensing applications. Chris is co-supervised by Dr Adrian Fisher in the department of Chemcial Engineering. Prior to joining the Nanomanufacturing group Chris gained a first class MSci in Physics  from the University of Glasgow and then studied for an MRes as part of the Sensor CDT at the University of Cambridge. Additionally, Chris is the recipient of the Leete Premium Award for PhD students and he is a and is a member of Robinson College. 

Jordi Cools Photo

is a visiting Ph.D. researcher from imec, Belgium. He obtained his degree in Biomedical Sciences and masters in Bioelectronics & Nanotechnology at Hasselt University. As a fellow of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), he is working on the development of new-generation electrodes for electrophysiological measurements of electrogenic cells, with high spatial resolution and  sensitivity. He is visiting the NanoManufacturing group to work on CNT microstructures that can be used as electrodes for high-quality electrogenic cell measurements.



is a visiting PhD student at the Nanomanufacturing group. She is working on the fabrication of advanced CNT structures for bone tissue scaffolds. Her work includes the development of CNT-gel composites. She is part of the Functional Materials group of prof. dr. Jennifer Patterson at the university of Leuven in Belgium, where she is pursuing her PhD.


Nucara is a visiting PhD student from The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Italy). He is working on new smart carbon nanotubes composites for sensing applications. His research interests include materials chemistry, smart materials and self-assembled photonic structures


Johannes Vanpaemel is a visiting researcher from imec, Belgium. He obtained his degree in physics and masters in Nanoscience at the University of Leuven, and is affiliated to imec - an industry funded research institute focusing on nanoelectronics. He has been studying the growth of carbon nanotubes to enable their integration in nanoelectronics. He is visiting the Nanomanufacturing group to work on the manipulation of carbon nanotubes into highly packed monolayers that can be used as a channel material for transistors.

Ronge2 is a visiting resaercher from the University of Leuven, Belgium. He obtained his MSc in catalytic science at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering. As a fellow of the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO), he is investigating photoelectrochemical cells for solar hydrogen production. He is currently focusing on the arrangement of carbon nanostructures on silicon surfaces to be used as scaffolds for semiconductors and electrocatalysts in energy applications.


Charlie Stokes is a student in Queens' College and the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge. She is studying for an MPhil in Micro and Nanotechnology Enterprise and works on a project to design carbon nanotube biosensors under the supervision of Dr. Michael de Volder and Dr. Ronan Daly. Her interests are in new materials for design, environmental and medical devices and manufacturing. She previously completed internships at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore, UCL, and London based design studio ROLI.


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