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School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Dr Ali Zarbakhsh


Senior Lecturer

Room Number: Room 1.13, Joseph Priestley Building


Dr. Ali Zarbakhsh, a Senior Lecturer in Physical Chemistry and admission tutor for Chemistry at Queen Mary, University of London, possesses an interdisciplinary research background.

His primary focus is on resolving structure-function relationships for self-assembling surfactants and polymeric materials at interfaces. Dr. Zarbakhsh specializes in developing experimental scattering techniques, notably neutron and X-ray methods, to uncover molecular structures at buried interfaces. His current research spans two main areas: soft matter and lubrication. In soft matter, his group concentrates on unravelling molecular conformation at interfaces, particularly in nanogels and amorphous nanosheets for drugs and DNA/RNA delivery, contributing significantly to advancements in cell expansion and bioreactor design. In lubrication, Dr. Zarbakhsh delves into studying the adsorption and tribological properties of lubricant additives at oil-metal interfaces, utilizing sophisticated techniques such as polarised neutron reflectometry. Supported by sources including the European Commission, UKRI, and BP International, his work not only advances fundamental understanding but also offers practical applications in formulation chemistry and industrial processes.

Dr. Zarbakhsh's teaching areas encompass surfactants, interfaces, electrochemistry, colloidal formulations and nanomaterials, reflecting his expertise in these domains.

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Essential Skills for Chemists (Tutorials) (CHE100)
  • Practical Chemistry (CHE201)
  • Advanced Practical Chemistry 1 (CHE301)
  • Topics in Physical Chemistry (CHE304U)
  • Advanced Topics in Physical Chemistry (CHE404U)


Research Interests:

Structural studies of biological and polymeric systems at buried fluid-fluid interfaces. The current area of interest is a model for lipid emulsion drug delivery systems and interaction of a lipid monolayer with negatively charged polyelectrolytes such as DNA.

Techniques used are X-ray and neutron scattering, reflectivity, in-plane diffraction and small angle scattering in addition to vibrational sum frequency spectroscopy, ellipsometry and atomic force microscopy.

Research Department


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