SNAIA 2018 Prize Winners

Congratulations to all the Prize Winners at the First European Conference on Smart Nanomaterials: Applications, Innovation and Advances (SNAIA 2018).

Four prizes were sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Read more about the winners here

A further prize was sponsored by the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Metamaterials (XM2 CDT). Read more about the prize and the winner here

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POEM 2019


We are currently organising a conference – Photonic and Optoelectronic Materials (POEM) 2019.

The programme committee are now accepting abstracts for both oral and poster presentations. The abstract submission deadline is 1 March 2019.

The conference will take place University College London from 9th to 12th of April 2019. More information on POEM 2019 can be found at

More than 200 attendees will meet at this Conference and exhibition. POEM 2019 will provide a unique platform to meet, share knowledge and establish links between experts from academia and industry. The conference topics will include:

  • 2D materials

  • IV element-based photonic materials and devices

  • Chalcogenide materials

  • Quantum Dots and Nanowires

  • Organic materials

  • Liquid Crystals and Fluid Nanocomposites​

The conference programme will incorporate the following symposia:

  • 2D Material Symposium

  • Liquid Crystal Symposium

  • THz Optoelectronics and Photonics Symposium

  • Nanophotonics Symposium

  • Energy Materials Symposium

  • Metamaterials and Plasmonic Devices Symposium

  • Smart Biosensors and Bioanalytical Systems Symposium

  • Microscopy and Microspectroscopy of Nanomaterials Symposium

We already have an exciting list of Keynote and Invited Speakers lined up for this event:

We look forward to seeing you there.

Multi-layer graphene as a selective detector for future lung cancer biosensing platforms

figures (5) (003)Our latest article on the feasibility of using patterned multi-layer graphene for the detection of volatile organic compounds – typical biomarkers of lung cancer – has just been published in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s journal Nanoscale.

Read the article here:!divAbstract

Highly selective, fast detection of specific lung-cancer biomarkers (CMs) in exhaled human breath is vital to the development of enhanced sensing devices. Today, e-nose is a promising approach for the diagnosis of lung cancer. Nevertheless, considerable challenges to early-stage disease diagnostics still remain: e.g. decrease in sensor sensitivities in the presence of water vapor, sensor drift leading to the inability to calibrate exactly, relatively short sensor lifetimes, and difficulty discriminating between multiple diseases. However, there is a wide scope for breath diagnostics techniques, and all advanced electrodes applicable to e-nose devices will benefit them. Here, we present the promising sensing capabilities of bare multi-layer graphene (MLG) as a proof of concept for advanced e-nose devices and demonstrate its utility for biomolecule discrimination of the most common lung CMs (ethanol, isopropanol, and acetone). We report on a comparative study involving exposure of the three CM solutions on flat MLG (f-MLG) and patterned MLG (p-MLG) electrodes, where the electrical conductivity of p-MLG is significantly increased while applying acetone. Based on sensitivity tests, we demonstrate the ability to monitor the electrical response of graphene electrodes employing graphene of various wettabilities. Specifically, the f-MLG electrode displays almost 2 times higher sheet resistance (30 Ω sq−1) compared to the hydrophilic p-MLG (12 Ω sq−1). We show significant sensitivity to selected specific molecules of pristine f-MLG and p-MLG while applying CM solutions with a 1.4 × 105 ppm concentration. Finally, we show the selectivity of f-MLG and p-MLG-based sensors when exposed to 2.0 × 105 ppm solutions containing different CM combinations. Both sensors were selective in particular to acetone, since the presence of acetone leads to a sheet resistance increase. We demonstrate that an advanced e-nose approach integrated with MLG electrodes has significant potential as a design concept for utilization of molecular detection at variable concentrations such as in early-stage disease diagnosis. This early-stage approach will provide convenient and reusable complex monitoring of CMs compared to typical contact sensors which require target analysis and are limited by disposable measuring. Moreover, further integration of the Internet of Things will introduce advanced e-nose devices as a biotechnological innovation for disease resilience with the potential for commercialization.

Article Published: Self-Assembled QD Crystals

Our latest research article on the optical properties of self-assembled quantum dot crystals has just been published as an Accepted Manuscript in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C.!divAbstract

This research was undertaken as part of our collaborative work with ITMO University, St Petersburg, Russia. In this paper, quantum dot (QD) self-assembly into ordered superstructures has been analysed, along with the evolution of their morphological and optical properties. QD self-assembly occurs through two distinct stages (homo- and hetero-geneous), leading to the formation of supercrystals with a layered morphology. Analysis of the optical properties throughout the superstructures’ growth has shown that the absorption and photoluminescence (PL) bands are blue shifted, retaining almost the same PL lifetimes as in the initial QD solution. The supercrystals formed possess a further unique optical property caused by their layered morphology; namely, a four-fold symmetry characterized by strong birefringence. Such supercrystals may be used for the fabrication of microscale optical paths with high extinction coefficients and specific polarization properties for novel optoelectronic devices.

Microscopy and Analysis article published

An article we wrote on ‘Probing Raman Scattering for Particle Tracking’ has been published in Micrcoscopy and Analysis:

The article presents a summary of the current achievements of our ongoing investigations using Raman spectroscopy to characterise and track particles of different materials. Microscopy and Analysis is the leading international journal for microscopists, with over 46,000 subscribers and 120,000 readers worldwide. The journal is distributed free of charge.

Photonex Europe 2018

Baldycheva lab researcher Ben Hogan will be presenting a talk at titled ‘2D Material Liquid Crystal Nanocomposites for Photonic Applications’ during the Graphene Expo section at Photonex Europe 2018. The talk will cover his work on novel liquid crystals based on tungsten disulfide, with a view towards future  applications in thin film devices used as detectors, emitters or biosensors etc.

The talk will be on Thursday 11th October at 11.40. Photonex Europe is an annual conference taking place at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, UK.

Smart Nanomaterials 2018: Advances, Innovation and Applications

We are currently organising a conference – Smart Nanomaterials: Advances, Innovation and Applications (SNAIA) 2018 Conference .

The programme committee are now accepting abstracts for both oral and poster presentations. The abstract submission deadline is 15 September 2018.

The conference’s focus is to discuss the most critical technological advances, innovations and new practical applications in Smart Technologies. The conference will take place in the École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris, Paris Tech from 10th to 13th of December 2018. More information on SNAIA 2018 can be found at

More than 200 attendees will meet at this Conference and exhibition. The SNAIA 2018 will provide a unique platform to meet, share knowledge and establish links between experts from academia and industry in the emerging fields of Wearable and Printed (Opto)Electronics, CMOS Photonics, Quantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence, OptoGenetics, Smart Coatings and Thin Films.


The conference programme will include:

  • 2D Material Symposium (in partnership with Exeter’s Centre for Graphene Science)
    Chair: Prof Monica Craciun (University of Exeter)
  • Liquid Crystal Symposium (in partnership with the British Liquid Crystal and International Liquid Crystal Societies)
    Chair: Prof Ingo Dierking (University of Manchester)
  • Optoelectronics and Photonics Symposium (organised by the Univ. of Exeter SPIE Student Chapter)
    Chair: Joaquín Faneca Ruedas (President of Univ. of Exeter SPIE Student Chapter)
  • Si Photonics Symposium
    Chair: Prof Frederic Gardes (University of Southampton)
  • Microscopy and Microspectroscopy of Nanomaterials Symposium (in partnership with the Royal Microscopical Society (RMS) and the European Microscopy Society (EMS))
    Chair: Dr Anna Baldycheva (University of Exeter)
  • Smart Biosensors and Bioanalytical Systems Symposium
    Chair: Prof Andrey Somov (Skoltech University)


We have an exciting list of Keynote and Invited Speakers lined up for this event:

Prof. Andrea C. Ferrari – Cambridge Graphene Centre

Prof. Shanhui Fan – Stanford University

Prof. Pavlos Lagoudakis – University of Southampton & Skoltech University

Prof. David Andrews – University of East Anglia

Prof. Laura Lechuga – Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Prof. Rudolf Bratschitsch – University of Münster

Prof. Anatoly Zayats – Kings College London

Prof. Lorenzo Pavesi – University of Trento

Prof. Aldo Di Carlo – University of Rome

Prof. Frank A. Nüesch – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Prof. Frederic Gardes – University of Southampton

Prof. László Forró – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Prof. Jérôme Tignon – École Normale Supérieure & UPMC

Prof. Igor Bondarev – North Carolina Central University

Prof. Ingo Dierking – University of Manchester

Prof. Alberto G. Curto – Eindhoven University of Technology

Prof. Alberto Bramati – Université Pierre et Marie Curie

Prof. Ventsislav Valev – University of Bath

Prof. Mikhail Portnoi – University of Exeter

Prof. Coskun Kocabas – University of Manchester

Prof. Monica Craciun – University of Exeter

Prof. Igor Lukyanchuk – University of Amiens

Prof. Oleg Yazev – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Prof. Alberto G. Curto – Eindhoven University of Technology

Prof. Zhe Li – Cardiff University

Prof. Pavlos Savvidis – University of Heraklion

Prof. Cinzia Casiraghi – University of Manchester

Prof. Andrey Somov – Skoltech University

Prof. Daniel Wolverson – University of Bath

Prof. Sergey Tarasenko – Ioffe Institute St. Petersburg

Prof. Vladimir Antonov – Royal Holloway University

Dr. Stanislav Leesment – NT-MDT

Prof. Shun-Jen Cheng – National Physical Laboratory

Prof. Slaven Garaj – National University of Trento

Dr. Cesar Moreno – Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Dr. Giacomo Scalari – ETH Zürich

Prof. Jochen  Feldmann – Ludwig Maximilian University of München

Prof. Brian Gerardot – Heriot-Watt University

Prof. Jake Fontana – U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

Dr. Dave Carbery – University of Bath

Prof. Nicolae Panoiu – University College London

Prof. Concita Sibilia – La Sapienza University of Rome

Dr. Pavel Ginzburg – Tel Aviv University

Prof. Hiromi Okamoto – Institute for Molecular Science

Prof. Liwu Zhang – Fudan University

Prof. Louise Bradley – Trinity College Dublin


The conference will also produce two publications:

  1. A Book of Abstracts (printed version available on the first day of the SNAIA2018).
  2. A special thematic volume on Smart Nanomaterials of the peer-reviewed open-access journal Nanoscale Research Letters. Articles will be added as soon as they are peer-reviewed after the conference.

SPIE Photonics Europe

IagoSPIEBaldycheva Laboratory researcher Iago Rodríguez Díez presented his work this week at the SPIE Photonics Europe conference. His poster, titled ‘Visible Light Emitting Waveguide on Si Chip Based on Polymeric Quantum Dots‘ was very well-received by the international scientific community in attendance.

Iago has been highly enthused by his experiences at his first international conference. Asked for his thoughts on the experience so far, he replied ‘I love it’.