Joao CabralReader in Soft Matter

from Lisbon and Alcáçovas, Portugal 



2005 - present: Lecturer (2005-2010), Senior lecturer (2010-2014) and Reader (2014-) in Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London.

2002 - 2005: Foreign Guest Researcher, Polymers division , National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA.

1998 - 2002: PhD in Polymer Science, "Polymer Blends: Equilibrium, Dynamics and Phase Separation" with Prof. Dame Julia S. Higgins.
Dept. Chemical Engineering, Imperial College, London, UK (Weinberg Prize).

1997: Laboratoire Léon Brillouin (CEA-CNRS), Saclay, France. Diffusion & Dynamics group, headed by Drs Marie-Claire Bellissent-Funel and José Teixeira.

1996: Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden.

1992 - 1997: Undergraduate Physics (5 year "licenciatura"), Instituto Superior Técnico , Lisbon, Portugal.


My research interests are in soft condensed matter, in particular in complex polymer mixtures, multicomponent systems, often containing particles and copolymers. We study the thermodynamics and dynamics or polymer blends with a combination of real- and reciprocal-space techniques, including microscopy and AFM, and light and neutron scattering.

Recently, I became involved in microfluidics, both in the fabrication of novel devices and in applications in condensed matter. We explore ‘Frontal photopolymerization’ (FPP) to rapidly create 3D structures that, moreover, are compatible with an array of organic solvents. We also developed a sound theoretical understanding of the nature of front propagation, which exhibits intriguing kinetics. In terms of applications, we are excited about an unprecedented interfacial tensiometer, implemented for the first time in microfluidics.

During my stay at the NIST combinatorial methods center, I learned about high-throughput and combinatorial approaches in materials science, and developed work in the fields of polymer mixtures and network formation. We are now elaborating on scattering and spectroscopic tools to elucidate aspects of morphology and stability of elusive soft matter systems.


See group publications .