Dr Tung Chun Lee

Dr Tung Chun Lee

Associate Professor

Institute for Materials Discovery

MAPS Faculty Office

Joined UCL
17th Nov 2014

Research summary

My interdisciplinary research group focuses on the (1) design and discovery, (2) fabrication, synthesis and self-assembly and (3) characterisation of exotic nanomaterials and nanodevices for potential applications in photonics, catalysis, sensing, biomedicines, nanomachines and nanotechnology. We are motivated and equipped to tackle challenges in a broad realm ranging from fundamental science to real-life applications. Ongoing research topics include self-assembly (molecules, polymers and nanoparticles), surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, nanomotors and metamaterials.

My research interest includes (but not limited to):

Design and fabrication of programmable hybrid nanostructures by physical and/or chemical methods.

Smart nanocolloids that can automatically assemble, recognise, adapt, and sort.

Active nanomachines, e.g. swimmers, actuators and motors.

Switchable metamaterials, e.g. chiral nanoparticles, for optical, sensing, catalysis, security and energy applications.

Functional molecular systems, e.g. host-guest complexes, molecular containers and molecular switches.

In situ characterisation techniques, e.g. dynamic light scattering, dark field optical microscopy and liquid-cell transmission electron microscopy.

*Informal inquiries are welcome.

Teaching summary

  • TMSAMSSING01 MSc in Advanced Materials Science (Programme Developer, Coordinator and Admission Tutor)
  • NSCI0012 Materials Design, Selection and Discovery (Module Designer, Tutor, Lecturer and Primary Examiner)
  • NSCI0013 Advanced Materials Characterisation (Lecturer and Examiner)

  • NSCI0015 Research Methodology (Module Designer, Lecturer and Examiner)
  • NSCI0016 Literature Project (Tutor, Primary Supervisor and Examiner)
  • NSCI0017 Research Project (Primary Supervisor and Examiner)


Higher Education Academy
Doctorate, Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy | 2016
University of Cambridge
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2012
The University of Hong Kong
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 2005


Tung Chun Lee is an early-career academic (h-index: 21, total citation: 2170+). He received his BSc in Chemistry from University of Hong Kong in 2005 and his PhD in Chemistry from University of Cambridge in 2012. He was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart from 2011 to 2014. In 2014 he joined University College London as a Lecturer and started his independent academic career. Currently, he is leading a research group of 2 PDRAs, 6 PhDs and 7 MScs, working on cutting-edge research in nanomaterials and nanochemistry. He has secured as a PI in total £684k research grants from EPSRC, Leverhulme Trust, Royal Society and industry partners, and has served as an invited referee of 21 grant applications from EPSRC, Cancer Research UK and RGC HK.
His research interests include exotic nanoparticles, nanofabrication, nanochemistry, active matter and supramolecular chemistry, all of which show potential applications in sensing, drug delivery, photovoltaic and catalysis. To date, he has 32 publications in high-impact journals, featuring Nat. Chem., Nat. Mater., Nat. Commun., Nano Lett., ACS Nano and Angew. Chem. Other academic achievements include 2 patents (1 licenced by industry), 1 book chapter and 6 journal covers. He is a regular reviewer of journals such as Nat. Commun., Small, Nanoscale and ChemComm.