Nanoengineered Systems Laboratory


Dr James Sweeney



James obtained his BEng(Chem)(Hons) and PhD from the University of Newcastle, Australia. His PhD involved using ionic liquids (ILs) as boundary layer lubricants, with a focus on elucidating the relationship between the physicochemical properties of several ILs and their nanoscale friction responses. Several facets of this topic were probed including the influence on nanoscale friction of: IL molecular structure, polymer and n-alkanol additives, and electric potential applied to a conductive solid surface lubricated by an IL and sliding relative to a contacting surface. His work primarily involved atomic force microscopy (AFM).

In 2017/18, James pursued another significant interest of his – design and optimisation of renewable energy technologies and systems – undertaking further study to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in this area from Northumbria University, UK. He then worked as a design engineer in the solar photovoltaic industry for over two years.

James joined UCL as a postdoctoral research associate in 2021 to work with Professor Balabani et al., investigating particle suspension stability and non-Newtonian rheological behaviour for oral healthcare applications. His work involves AFM, rheological measurements, and various other experimental fluid dynamics techniques.