The IMD applies data analytics and machine learning together with low-cost, rapid processing and multi-scale characterization processes to accelerate the discovery, design, synthesis, and evaluation of novel functional materials (i.e., ceramics, polymers, organics and inorganics).

A wide range of exciting research topics!

Research in IMD

Explore our research staff and research groups below for more information! 

Professor Adham Hashibon  leads the Data Driven & Materials Informatics Group that engages in state-of-the-art research into the generation, harvesting, utilisation, and investigation of materials and process data to unravel basic underlying materials behaviour. Advanced computational integrated materials modelling on all scales and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools including Machine Learning (ML) techniques are utilised across a wide range of applications ranging from materials for energy to structural and functional materials. 

Associate Professor Tung Chun Lee leads the Nanomaterials Chemistry Lab that 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. Ongoing research topics include self-assembly (molecules, polymers and nanoparticles), surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy SERS, nanoreactors, nanomotors and metamaterials.

The Functional Materials and Energy Device group (FMED) led by Dr Mojtaba Abdi-Jalebi researches the discovery of novel energy materials and advanced energy devices based on low-temperature processable molecular semiconductors and hybrid organic-inorganic heterostructures between such organic semiconductors and inorganic semiconductors, such as metal halide perovskites, metal oxides and nanoparticles.

Dr Buddha Deka Boruah leads the Energy Materials & Storage Systems group (EMS2) that works on the design and synthesis of advanced materials for energy storage systems (conventional and planar designs) including Zn-ion, Li-ion batteries, supercapacitors, photo-charging and chemically self-charging systems.

Dr Bing Li leads the Advanced Biosensing group that studies of chemical and physical properties of advanced nanomaterials for biosensing application; the assembly of advanced POC/wearable/implantable sensors for biomarker detection and disease diagnosis; and the development of assistive sensing system for biomedical/surgical applications.

Dr Prospero Taroni-Junior interests include waste heat recovery using the thermoelectric effect, the development of self-healing polymers, novel approaches for polymer recycling, coatings for ice management, enhancing properties of carbon nanoparticles and new manifacturing processes for metal oxide nanoparticles with controlled shape.  

Dr Mingqing Wang main research direction is on materials deposition and device optimization for renewable energy generation such as transparent conducting oxide electrodes, polymer/CIGS /CZTS/perovskite thin film absorbers, and antireflection layers. She has expanded her research interests on photoelectrochemical water splitting, photodetectors, X-ray detectors, photoelectrochemical biosensors, and active-matrix display by participating in multidiscipline internal and international collaborations.  

Dr Miguel Pineda Rodriguez current research interests evolve around the development of efficient multi-scale modelling frameworks and parallel programming algorithms to simulate realistic catalyst structures together with fundamental and feasibility computational studies on materials as catalysts for various processes of critical importance in the chemical industry (i.e., hydrogenation and water-gas shift reactions, methane and biomass valorisation). Further, he is working on implementing advanced statistical mechanics techniques to simulate gas hydrate crystal growth and morphology as well as on the design optimisation of micro-fluidic based solvent extraction systems for radionuclides detection and nuclear waste management. 

Dr Zied Hosni is focusing in the combination of machine learning and computational chemistry (DFT calculation and molecular dynamics) for the discovery of a broad range of materials and their properties from small molecules such as drug-like molecules to large molecules such as enzymes (Flap endonuclease) and nanomaterials (carbon nanotubes).

Dr Mengyan Nie research interests include smart devices for healthcare and condition monitoring of critical engineering components, smart coatings, electrochemical sensing, corrosion management, surface engineering, organic redox flow batteries, hydrogel-based nanogenerators and materials performance testing.

Dr Shahab Akhavan main research interests include sensors and integrated electronics for applications in smart wearables, industrial sustainability, and environmental monitoring. His research track record encompasses emerging novel nanomaterials, biodegradable devices and electronics manufacturing on flexible and stretchable substrates. 

Research Partners

The IMD works with partners who are interested in our low-cost, smart, multifunctional and lightweight materials, and we are always looking to grow our network. 

Our research partners, both in UCL and externally, have expertise in designing and synthesising materials with well controlled purity, size and composition at a molecular level.


Contact Us


UCL, Institute for Materials Discovery | 107 Roberts Building | Malet Place | London | WC1E 7JE

+44 (0)20 7679 1335