PROF. RICHARD J. NICHOLS
Professor of Chemistry
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
Professor of Chemistry
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
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
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.
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. Inco Planje
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
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.
Mr. Jonathan Welsh
Jonathan graduated with first class honours in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham in 2017 before moving to the University of Liverpool to commence an MSc in Advanced Chemical Sciences. For his research project, he worked on the synthesis of inorganic-organic nanocomposites for potential applications in disease detection under the supervision of Prof. Steve Rannard and Dr. Marco Giardiello. After completing this MSc project, he joined the Molecular Electronics group to start a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Simon Higgins at the beginning of October 2018. His PhD project involves the synthesis of conjugated molecular wires and analysis of their electronic properties.
Miss Xiaohang Qiao
Xiaohang obtained her first-class bachelor degree of Chemistry from the University of Liverpool in 2017. After that, she spent a year on her master course working on a research project in molecular-scale energy conversion under the supervision of Prof. Mathias Brust at the same institution. The project aimed at mimicking the natural energy conversion processes by conducting reactions across emulsion droplet boundaries. In January 2019, she joined the Nichols & Higgins group for her PhD in the field of single molecule electronics.