PROF. RICHARD J. NICHOLS

Principle Investigator

Richard J. Nichols is a Professor of Physical Chemistry at Liverpool University. He is an expert in the field of scanning probe microscopy, particularly as applied to in-situ electrochemical measurements. He has over 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals, many of which involve the application and development of probe microscopy techniques. His key area of research from 2001 has been in developing single molecule measurement techniques using the scanning tunnelling microscope (STM), in particular for the measurement of electrical properties. Professor Nichols is a Fellow of the International Society of Electrochemistry.

PROF. SIMON J. HIGGINS

Principle Investigator

Simon Higgins obtained his degree (1981) and Ph.D. (1984) from the University of Southampton. After postdoctoral work at the Universities of Leeds (1984-7) and Oxford (1987-9), he was appointed to a Lectureship in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Liverpool, where he is currently a Professor. His research interests are in organic and molecular electronics, and in structure-property relationships in single molecule electrical devices.

Dr. Edmund Leary

Research Associate

Edmund gained his masters degree in Chemistry at the University of Liverpool (UK) in 2004. Following that he graduated from the same university with his PhD in 2009. His PhD thesis concerned synthesizing and measuring the conductance of single molecular wires. Edmund focused mainly on wires containing electronically decoupled aromatic groups (e.g. phenyl or oligothiophene) sandwiched between aliphatic spacers. Since January 2009, Edmund has worked at the IMDEA-Nanoscience institute (Madrid, Spain) as a postdoctoral researcher under the supervision of Nicolás Agraït, from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. There he continued his work in the field of molecular electronics, combining his experiences in chemistry with the strong physics background of the group to gain a more fundamental understanding of how electrical current flows through single molecules and also how it can be manipulated. As of June 2015, he has rejoined the group in Liverpool as a postdoctoral researcher to undertake a study into quantum interference effects in porphyrin nano-rings.

Dr. David Costa-Milan

Research Associate

David graduated from the University of Alicante (Spain) in 2008 with a Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Master degree. He then stayed at the university of Alicante for his PhD under the supervision of Prof. C. Untiedt. His PhD work focused on condensed matter physics and scanning tunnelling microscopy. He moved to Liverpool in 2013 for a postdoctoral position, to work in the field of molecular electronics with Prof. Richard J. Nichols.

Dr. Andrea Vezzoli -

Research Associate

Andrea graduated from the University of Padova (Italy) in March 2010 with an MChem in Industrial Chemistry. He had then been assigned a scholarship (2010) under the supervision of Prof. Renzo Bertoncello, to work on Sol-Gel techniques for the protection of cultural heritage with an academic spinoff (Siltea S.R.L.). This appointment was followed by another scholarship, in collaboration with Ricerca Chimica S.N.C., to study polysilazane-derived thin film coatings on metal substrates. After a further year (2011) working on azasilicon compounds for Ricerca Chimica S.N.C., he moved to Liverpool to enrol in a Ph.D. program under the supervision of Prof. Higgins, on the synthesis and single-molecule conductance measurement of molecular wires. After finishing his PhD, he stayed in Liverpool to work with Prof. Nichols on spin-polarised charge transport in molecular junctions, using semiconducting electrodes.

Mr. Nicolo' Ferri

PhD Student

Nicolo' graduated from the University of Pavia (Italy) in 2014, with a Master of Science in Chemistry. He spent the last year of his degree working on the synthesis of difunctional styrene-based polymers under the supervision of Prof. Dario Pasini. In November 2014 he moved to the University of Liverpool to pursue a PhD degree, working on the synthesis of molecular wires and the measurement of their electrical properties in the Nichols/Higgins group.

Mr. Inco Planje

PhD Student

Inco obtained his Chemistry degree from Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Enschede, The Netherlands in June 2015. He conducted his final research project on conjugated polymer nanoparticles in Singapore under supervision of Dr Nikodem Tomczak. The molecular electronics group of Prof. Higgins and Prof. Nichols at the University of Liverpool became his next stop in order to do a PhD on metal complexes for molecular electronics, spintronics and electrocatalysis.

Mr. Saman Naghibi

PhD Student

In 2014, Saman attained his Master’s degree in Analytical Chemistry from Birkbeck College, University of London. He worked on the improvement of drug delivery techniques using nano-liposomes. After completing his Master’s degree, he moved to University of Southampton to work in the research team of Prof. Feelisch on clinical research, more specifically to quantify sulfides and related metabolites, and their interaction with nitric oxide (NO) in plasma. He then started his PhD in single-molecule electronics and surface analysis within the research group of Prof. Higgins and Prof. Nichols at University of Liverpool in September 2017.

Past Group Members

Dr. Robert Smith - Post-Doc @ University of Chester, UK
Dr. Sarah Chappell - Materials Scientist @ Bentley Motors LTD, UK
Dr. Samantha R. Catarelli - Application Scientist @ Uniscan Instruments LTD, UK
Dr. Carly Brooke - Chemistry Teacher @ Liverpool Life Sciences UTC, UK
Dr. Nicola J. Kay - Development Scientist @ Croda PLC, UK
Dr. Phil Donovan - Project Scientist @ Instrument Design Technology LTD, UK