Dr. Robert G. Palgrave

I completed my Ph.D. (2007) at the Department of Chemistry, University College London on chemical vapour deposition of gold nanoparticle thin films. I then did postdoctoral work at the University of Oxford, working on molecular beam epitaxy and photoemission spectroscopy, and later at the University of Liverpool working on pulsed laser deposition.

In 2012 I was appointed Lecturer at UCL Chemistry, and was promoted to Reader in 2017. My group's research is on solid state materials chemistry, with a focus on materials with applications in renewable energy. Please browse the website for the latest research news or take a look at my Google Scholar profile.

I am Co-Director of the EPSRC National XPS Facility, HarwellXPS, a service providing access to XPS instrumentation and training for UK scientists.

I am chair of UCL Chemistry's outreach committee, and work with a number of charities to encourage wider participation in higher education, including The Institute for Research in SchoolsThe Tutorfair Foundation and Generating Genius. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.


group photo

Group Photo 2019

Current Group Members

Shiny Mathew

Ph.D. Student

Shiny Mathew moved to the UK from her hometown in India when she was 13. Her undergraduate studies in Chemistry were at UCL and later she joined the doctoral training centre, CDT-ACM, for her UCL-Imperial College joint PhD programme, co-supervised by Dr. Robert Palgrave and Dr. David Payne. Her Masters project, supervised by Prof. Richard Catlow, was in computational chemistry, investigating the role of nanoparticle co-catalysts in photocatalysis. Shiny is continuing her research in the field of photocatalysis for her PhD, studying the structure-function relationship in doped titania single crystal substrates. This is useful for the design of novel catalysts with optimal photoactivity for the application of water spitting. Away from the lab, Shiny enjoy canvas painting, travelling and outdoor activities.

Tim Evans

Eng.D Student

sponsored by Edwards Vacuum

I studied my undergraduate degree Applied Chemistry BSc at Northumbria University in Newcastle. This degree also had a year in industry which I undertook at Akzonobel International Paint, formulating a paint to adhere to upcoming legislation on volatile organic content (VOC).

Once I completed my undergrad course I moved into industry for a couple of years working various roles, before returning to academia at the University of Manchester to study an MRes in methodology under the supervision of Professor Michael Greaney, which had particular emphasis on the Smiles rearrangement.

I am now undertaking an Eng.D which is studying ionic liquids for industrial applications, something that I am very excited about. In my spare time I enjoy cycling and attempting to play the bass guitar.

Maham Karim

Ph.D. Student

Maham graduated with an MSci Chemistry from University College London in 2018, before taking up a joint experiment-theory Ph.D. studentship in thermoelectrics. For her M.Sci. project, Maham studied tin halometallates of the form A2SnX6 as highly tunable semiconductors and potential solar cell materials.

Previously year she did a literature project on the different computational methods of exploring protein-ligand binding affinities. Besides chemistry Maham enjoys kickboxing, reading and coffee!

Gogulan Kugan

Ph.D. Student

I am a PhD student working on producing nanomaterials for thermoelectric applications; this project works with the JUICED hub. I am supervised by both Dr Robert Palgrave and Professor Ivan Parkins.

I graduated Imperial College London with an integrated masters’ in Material Science and Engineering (MEng) in 2018. My final year research project was supervised by Professor Fang Xie. This project looked at comparing two types of gold nanostars for metal enhanced fluorescence which was ultimately aimed to be used in biosensing application.

After science, my passion is martial arts; I have participated in Goju-Ryu Karate for 7 years and then Muay Thai kickboxing for 3 years. I also enjoy playing basketball during the weekends!

Lina Zhang

Ph.D. Student

Lina studied for an M.Sc. in Materials for Energy and Environment at UCL. She is from China, and she finished her bachelor degree in Material Science and Engineering in Queen Mary University of London. She is studying new materials for hybrid perovskite solar cells. In her spare time, Lina loves watching dramas, skiing and travelling with her family and friends.

Winnie Leung

Ph.D. Student

Winnie Leung is originally from Hong Kong and moved to England when she was 17. She graduated with a first in MSci Chemistry and decided to stay on for her PhD project, jointly supervised by Prof. David Scanlon and Dr Robert Palgrave. Her PhD project is about transparent conducting metal oxides for renewable energy applications, which she will be studying using a combination of computational and experimental techniques. When she is away from the lab, she likes to go swimming and eats a lot of cakes! (Work hard and eat hard!) she also likes travelling and her dream is to travel to Mars one day! Oh and she is also a snapchat addict so watch out for Winnie if she’s around!

Former Group Members

Dr. Emily Glover

Ph.D. Student 2012-2017

Emily completed her chemistry MSci degree at UCL in 2012, and stayed to complete her PhD in the Palgrave Research Group. Her research investigated materials used for photocatalytic water splitting, focussing on determining the structural, optical and electronic characteristics of active catalysts, in order to understand the origins of their activity. While completing her PhD, Emily collaborated with researchers from the University of Oxford, Imperial College London, the University of Vienna and Yale University. Since September 2016, Emily has worked at the University of Bath as a postdoctoral research assistant in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, where she has worked on de-icing and energy harvesting projects.

Dr. Andrew Breeson

Ph.D. Student 2013-2017

Andrew’s research project was an investigation into controlling the crystallinity of titanium dioxide (TiO2) photocatalysts. By studying powders and epitaxial films of TiO2, his research revealed a reverse rutile-anatase phase change induced by nitrogen doping. He developed a novel method to quantify surface phases in mixed phase systems via X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) valance band analysis. This method was shown to be directly proportional to the photocatalytic activity in anatase/rutile mixtures. He also developed and revealed a novel synthesis of highly photocatalytic non-crystalline TiO2 via liquid phase deposition (LPD). Andrew is now based in Cambridge and is a science writer for BioStrata.

Dr. Diana Teixeira

Ph.D. Student 2014-2018

Diana Teixeira, originally from Caracas, Venezuela, did her undergrad studies in Nuclear Physics, following her B.Sc. she moved to Italy to do a Masters in Surface Treatments for Industrial Application, where she worked on the study of PVD and PECVD techniques for the thin film protection of solar mirrors. After completion of her master degree with honours she completed her Ph.D. at UCL working on the synthesis of vanadium(IV) oxide via hydrothermal synthesis, sol-gel, AACVD and other techniques. During her time at UCL, she was part of an exchange program with ASTAR in Singapore, working for a year and a half in the Institute of Materials research and engineering (IMRE). Diana loves to travel and spend time in outdoors when she is not in the lab.

Lizzy Martin

EPSRC Summer Student and M.Sci. Student 2017-2018

Lizzy spent summer 2017 completing an EPSRC vacation project in the group and stayed in the group for her MSci project in 2017-18. She researched complex rutile structures, doping them with hope of producing effective Transparent Conducting Oxides (TCOs).  In 2016-17 she did a year abroad at The University of Texas at Austin where she was an undergraduate researcher in Dr Brent Iverson’s organic chemistry laboratory group working for Chris Wight. Lizzy graduated with a fist class degree, and now plans to teach English in France. In her spare time, Lizzy plays the violin, competes on the University of London gymnastics team and produces handmade personalised sample boxes for the rest of the group.

Dr. Satyam Ladva

Eng.D. Student 2014-2019

Satyam Ladva is a ThermoFisher scientific sponsored EngD student. His project is aimed at synthesising and characterising carbon nitride and carbon nitride related materials. Satyam enjoys working with a variety of characterisation techniques, especially XPS. Satyam has completed an MSci Physics undergraduate at Imperial College London and an MSc in nanotechnology, where he worked on Nitrogen-doped Graphene for supercapacitors, under Prof. Richard Jackman, at the London Centre for Nanotechnology. In his spare time, Satyam learns Japanese, travels and plays the guitar and piano

Dr. Delphine Malarde

Ph.D. Student 2015-2019

Delphine studied chemistry in France where she graduated from Chimie ParisTech in 2015. She has developed an in-depth knowledge and expertise in the area of thin films with the French industrial group Saint-Gobain. Delphine joined UCL in 2015 where she began her doctoral research in thermochromic thin films for energy-efficient glass applications. Her work focused on the development of vanadium oxides films using deposition process such as APCVD or AACVD. Away from work, Delphine pursues her passions in photography, cooking and whenever she can, relaxes on ski slopes across Europe.

Dr. Will Travis

PDRA 2015-2016

Following his PhD in carbon based porous adsorbent materials for gas sorption Will worked as a post doc with the Palgrave group investigating solid state materials with novel solar cell, battery and catalytic applications. Publication highlights include: Inorg. Chem. paper and Chem. Sci. paper. We were also fortunate enough to be highlighted by Chemistry World magazine.

Will then worked with TSSI Systems as technical manager developing solvent based reel-to-reel coating formulations and production processes within the security and authentication industries.

Will now works at Gurit as a product development chemist developing composite materials for wind turbines, high performance automotive and marine applications. If you would like to get in touch please email Will at:

Previous M.Sci. Students

Simon Ansbro

Max Middleweek

Ria Atri

Laura Pieters

Atchuthan Gopalan

Katherine Bell

Arnab Biswas