University of Oxford

Type Disciplines
Research Institution Chemistry Nanostructures Nanotubes Electronics
Address Postal Code
Wellington Square OX1 2JD
City State / Province
E-mail Country
United Kingdom
Web Phone
link +44 1865 270000
+44 1865 270708

The Physics Department of the University of Oxford is one of the largest in the United Kingdom and has a lively and active program in research, including the Bionanotechnology Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration.

Bionanotechnology is a highly interdisciplinary field, resulting from the convergence of the physical, life and medical sciences and engineering. The IRC mission is "to learn from nature – to understand the structure and function of biological devices and to utilize Nature's solutions in advancing science and engineering in areas as diverse as biosensors, genomics, the discovery of new medicines, diagnostics and drug delivery. "

The IRC is investigating biomolecular systems from the level of single molecules up to complex molecular machines by integrating "top-down" nanoscale lithography with "bottom-up" biomolecular assembly.

Key themes are:
  • Molecular machines – proteins in which enzymatic activity such as energy conversion and self-assembly are integrated to produce highly-efficient linear or rotary motion on a nanometer scale.
  • Functional membrane proteins – including ion channels and receptors, which are biologically-evolved nanoswitches and triggers.
  • Nanoelectronics and photonics – integration of electrically and optically active biomolecules to produce active devices, networks and bio-sensors.
  • Self-assembled nanostructures – DNA-based nanostructures and machines
The program is underpinned by state-of-the-art scanning probe microscopy, single-molecule detection and manipulation, and atomistic/mesoscopic theoretical modelling and simulation.


At the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, one of three labs in the Department of Chemistry, nanotechnology research is carried out in these fields:
  • Theoretical and Computational Chemistry: Development of methods for large scale ab initio calculations with applications to biological systems and nanotechology.
  • Theoretical and Computational Chemistry: Electrochemistry of modified carbon electrodes and carbon nanotubes, nanoparticles.

SUMMARIZE -- Research includes: Nano-electronics and photonics - integration of electrically and optically active biomolecules to produce active devices, networks and bio-sensors. Another project: Carbon Nanotubes in Electrochemistry: Since the re-discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in 1991 , they have become w i d e l y e x p l o i t e d i n electroanalysis. CNTs are assigned into two classes: single walled (SWCNTs) and multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). OTHERS: (Nano-structures at martensite macrotwin interfaces in Ni65Al35) The atomic configurations at macrotwin interfaces between microtwinned martensite plates in Ni65Al35 material are investigated using transmission electron microscopy. The observed structures are interpreted in view of possible formation mechanisms for these interfaces.

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