Dr Matthew Blunt

Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics

Dr Matthew Blunt

Address: Department of Chemistry, UCL
Phone No: +44 (0)20 7679 1087
Fax No: +44 (0)20 7679 7463
Extension: 21087
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Research areas of interest include:

  • Scanning probe microscopy (SPM)
  • Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) and scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM)
  • Two-dimensional supramolecular self-assembly
  • Two-dimensional covalent organic frameworks
  • Colloidal nanoparticles
  • Plasmonically enhanced sensors and functional nanomaterials


Image of Research

Molecules deposited on surfaces can organise themselves into ordered and even complex structures based on intermolecular interactions. This is a process known as two-dimensional supramolecular self-assembly. A variety of Scanning probe microscopy techniques combined with optical spectroscopy can be used to visualise these molecular networks as well as mapping their chemical and optical properties with nanoscale resolution.

The main objectives of this work are to understand how the design of the individual molecular building blocks and the environmental conditions under which self-assembly takes place can be used to control the structures that are formed. These structures will then be used as templates for organising more complex components such as nanoparticles or fluorescent sensor molecules. Being able to accurately control the position of components, especially nanoparticles, in complex 2D structures will open up exciting new possibilities in areas of nanotechnology such as sensors, organic photovoltaic materials and molecular electronics.

Selected publications:

  1. A. Stannard, J. C. Russell, M. O. Blunt, C. Salesiotis, M. C. Gimenez-Lopez, N. Taleb, M. Schröder, N. R. Champness, J. P. Garrahan, P. H. Beton, “Broken symmetry and the variation of critical properties in the phase behaviour of molecular rhombus tilingsNature Chem., 2012, 4, pp.112-117.
  2. K. Tahara, H. Yamaga, E. Ghijsens, K. Inukai, J. Adisoejoso, M. O. Blunt, S. De Feyter , Y. Tobe “Control and induction of surface-confined homochiral porous molecular networks” Nature Chem., 2011, 3, pp.714-719.
  3. M. O. Blunt, J. C. Russell, M. C. Gimenez-Lopez, N. Taleb, X. L. Lin, M. Schröder, N. R. Champness, P. H. Beton “Guest-induced growth of a surface-based supramolecular bilayer” Nature Chem., 2011, 3, pp.74-78.
  4. M. C. O’Sullivan, J. K. Sprafke, D. V. Kondratuk, C. Rinfray, T. D. W. Claridge, A. Saywell, M. O. Blunt, O’Shea, P. H. Beton, M. Malfois, H. L. Anderson “Vernier templating and synthesis of a 12-porphyrin nano-ring” Nature, 2011, 469, pp.72-75.
  5. M. O. Blunt, J. C. Russell, N. R. Champness, P. H. Beton “Templating molecular adsorption using a covalent organic framework” Chem. Commun., 2010, 46, pp.7157-7159.
  6. M. O. Blunt, J. C. Russell, M. C. Gimenez-Lopez, J. P. Garrahan, X. Lin, M. Schröder, N. R. Champness, P. H. Beton ''Random Tiling and Topological Defects in a Two-Dimensional Molecular Network'' Science, 2008, 322, pp.1077-1081.
  • 1998 - 2002 MSc Physics, University of Nottingham
  • 2002 - 2006 PhD, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham. Thesis title: “Far-from equilibrium nanoparticle assemblies: Patterns transport and dynamics”. Supervisor, Professor P. J. Moriarty.
  • 2006 - 2010 Postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham. Supervised by Professor P. H. Beton.
  • 2010 - 2012 Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (IEF) at KU Leuven. Project title: “Functional supramolecular networks on surface (FUNSURF)”. Supervised by Professor S. De Feyter.
  • 2012 - to date Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at UCL