Skip to main content
School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Professor Matteo Palma


Professor of Physical Chemistry and Nanomaterials

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 6601
Room Number: Room 1.11, Joseph Priestley Building


  • Professor, Queen Mary University of London, 09/2022 – present
  • Reader (Associate Professor), Queen Mary University of London, 10/2018 – 08/2022
  • Senior Lecturer, Queen Mary University of London, 10/2017 – 09/2018
  • Lecturer (Assistant Professor), Queen Mary University of London, 09/2013-09/2017  
  • Postdoctoral & Associate Research Scientist, Columbia University (U.S.A.)2008-2013
  • PhD in Physical Chemistry, University Louis Pasteur (Strasbourg, France), 2004-2007
  • BSc & MSc (1st) in Chemistry, University of Rome La Sapienza (Italy), 1998-2004   

Find out more on the Palma Group website

I carried out my doctoral studies under the supervision of Professor Paolo Samorì, at the Institute of Supramolecular Science and Engineering (ISIS) (founded by Nobel laureate Professor. J.M. Lehn) of the University Louis Pasteur, France (now University of Strasbourg). During my doctoral career I investigated the nanoscale structural and electronic properties of supramolecular assemblies for organic electronics, via scanning probe techniques. My doctoral work has been awarded the “Young scientist award” by the European Materials Research Society.

I have then worked as a postdoctoral scientist in the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics at Columbia University (New York, U.S.A.) as part of the groups of Professor James Hone and Dr. Shalom Wind. At Columbia University I have focused my research efforts on the use of surface chemistry and nanofabrication strategies to control (bio)molecular self-assembly at the nanometer scale, for: i) high throughput monitoring of bio-molecular interactions at the single-molecule level, and ii) controlled self-assembly of nanostructures in materials science.

Since September 2013 I am a Principal Investigator in the Department of Chemistry at Queen Mary University of London, where I lead a research group focusing on the controlled assembly of functional nanostructures, down to single-molecule resolution. Applications range from studies in the field of molecular (opto)electronics, to biosensing and biological investigations at the single-molecule level.

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Topics in Physical Chemistry (CHE304U)
  • Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry (CHE114)
  • Essential Skills for Chemist (CHE100)
  • Essential Skills for Chemist II (CHE210)
  • Chemistry Research Project (CHE600)
  • Chemistry Research Project (CHE700)


Research Interests:

We are a physical chemistry group focusing on the controlled assembly of functional nanostructures, toward single-molecule resolution.  In particular we are interested in using (supra)molecular interactions to drive the self-organization of nano-moieties from solution to nanopatterned substrates and into functional heterostructures/nanohybrids. We typically employ  different building blocks for this, such as  carbon nanotubes, 2D nanomaterials and DNA origami (as nanoscale scaffolds). Applications range from studies in the field of molecular optoelectronics, to biosensing and biological investigations down to the single-molecule level.

Find out more on the Palma group website

Research department


Current PhD opportunity

PhD supervision

  • Kai Chen
  • Weiying Hong
  • Tinting Zheng
  • Haosen Miao
  • Zechariah Mengrani
  • Houlin Yu
  • William Neal (co-supervised withe Dr Christian Nielsen)
  • Caoimhe O’Neil (co-supervised withe Prof Thomas Iskratsch)
  • Teymour Talha-Dean (co-supervised withe Prof Jan Mol)

Postdoctoral supervision 

  • Dr Gririraj Manoharan
Back to top