Dr Giorgio Volpe


 Dr Volpe is a Lecturer in the Physical Chemistry Section.  He has held this position at UCL since 2014. Relying on forefront photonics and fabrication methods, his current research interests focus on the experimental and numerical study of far-from-equilibrium behaviors emerging in active soft matter systems that are of either biological or artificial origin, such as motile bacteria or artificial microswimmers respectively. In 2012, he was awarded a Ph.D. degree in Photonics from ICFO – The Institute of Photonic Sciences (Barcelona, Spain) for his work on the optical control of nanoantennas undertaken in the group of Prof. Romain Quidant. After his Ph.D. studies, he held a two-year junior position at the Langevin Institute, ESPCI within Prof Sylvain Gigan’s group (Paris, France). Giorgio's research focus shifted to light scattering in complex media and its applications to nanophotonics, optical trapping and imaging through opaque materials such as biological tissue. 
Summary of research group
 Our research encompasses the experimental and theoretical study of soft matter, active matter and molecular systems that are in and out of thermodynamic equilibrium in order to test hypothesis from the physical, biophysical and biochemical world. As well as the development of tools with unprecedented possibilities in sensing and probing at the microscale and nanoscale, our research develops controllable model systems that offer fresh ways of looking at existing outstanding problems from the natural, biophysical and physical world, often uncovering novel and exciting behaviours that had remained hidden due to the complexity of the original systems. Examples range from the dynamics of single molecules within the living cell, to the development of artificial microswimmers for target delivery and bioremediation, from the origin and evolution of life as a consequence of out-of-equilibrium physics and chemistry to the field of movement ecology. Our way to tackle these problems stems from a very interdisciplinary approach at the crossroad of soft matter, nanotechnology, nanophotonics and statistical physics.
Research highlights
 For updated information, please visit our group website.
Research Facilities
  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Digital Video Microscopy with environmental chamber
  • Microfabrication
  • Nanofabrication
  • Spatial Light Modulators
 • ICFO Visionary Award, ICFO (2008)
  • OSA
  • SPIE
Research interests
  • Active Matter
  • Biophotonics
  • Complex Media
  • Nanophotonics
  • Nanotechnology
  • Optical Manipulation
  • Optical Microscopy
  • Plasmonics
  • Soft Matter
  • Statistical Physics
  • Wavefront Shaping
  • CHEM1301 - Laboratory
  • CHEM2301 - Thermodynamics
  • CHEM2303 - Reaction Dynamics