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Charlie Readman

Charlie is a NanoDTC PhD student working between the Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis (Scherman group, Dept. of Chemistry) and the NanoPhotonics Centre (Baumberg group, Dept. of Physics) at the University of Cambridge

They received their undergraduate training (MChem) from the University of Sussex, where they specialised in inorganic and physical chemistry. Here, they completed an undergraduate summer internship with the Cox group between their 3rd and 4th year, computationally exploring the effects of nuclear mass & charge on the properties of 2-electron atoms. They then worked with the Chen group for their MChem project, where they developed a TiO2-based UV flow reactor for direct synthesis of epoxides from alkenes and activation of volatile organic compounds towards secondary reactions. At the end of their undergrad, Charlie received the MacQuitty prize for highest performance across the sciences and the Downlands prize for best MChem dissertation in the RSC Downlands region.

Charlie joined the Scherman & Baumberg groups as a NanoDTC MRes student in April 2016, then continued their research in both groups as a PhD student from October 2016. Their research is centred on the design & synthesis of redox-active molecular spacers for self-assembly of plasmonic nanostructures with applications in sensing and catalysis. Charlie is funded primarily by the NanoDTC (EPSRC) as well as the NOtCH and THOR grants.

Charlie’s initial work focused on synthesis and characterisation of lanthanide bis-phthalocyanine sandwich complexes and their use as molecular spacers for assembly of gold nanoparticle aggregates and nanoparticle-on mirror (NPoM) structures. This work revealed inconsistencies in the current understanding of these plasmonic systems and was published in Nano Letters. Charlie is now exploring the supramolecular interactions of functional viologen like-systems with cucurbit[n]uril and gold nanostructures, with the goal of introducing transition metal centres into plasmonic nanocavities for sensing and catalytic applications.


Cascaded nanooptics to probe microsecond atomic-scale phenomena.
M Kamp, B de Nijs, N Kongsuwan, M Saba, R Chikkaraddy, CA Readman, WM Deacon, J Griffiths, SJ Barrow, OS Ojambati, D Wright, J Huang, O Hess, OA Scherman, JJ Baumberg
– Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Inhibiting Analyte Theft in SERS Substrates: sub-Nanomolar Quantitative Drug Detection
B de Nijs, C Carnegie, I Szabó, D-B Grys, R Chikkaraddy, M Kamp, SJ Barrow, CA Readman, M-E Kleemann, OA Scherman, E Rosta, JJ Baumberg
– ACS sensors
Anomalously Large Spectral Shifts near the Quantum Tunnelling Limit in Plasmonic Rulers with Subatomic Resolution.
C Readman, B de Nijs, I Szabó, A Demetriadou, R Greenhalgh, C Durkan, E Rosta, OA Scherman, JJ Baumberg
– Nano letters
Room-Temperature Optical Picocavities below 1 nm
C Carnegie, J Griffiths, B de Nijs, C Readman, R Chikkaraddy, WM Deacon, Y Zhang, I Szabó, E Rosta, J Aizpurua, JJ Baumberg
– Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Plasmon-Induced Optical Control over Dithionite-Mediated Chemical Redox Reactions
J Huang, B de Nijs, S Cormier, K Sokolowski, D-B Grys, CA Readman, SJ Barrow, OA Scherman, JJ Baumberg
– Faraday Discussions
Mapping SERS in CB:Au Plasmonic Nano-Aggregates
C Carnegie, R Chikkaraddy, F Benz, B De Nijs, WM Deacon, M Horton, W Wang, C Readman, SJ Barrow, OA Scherman, JJ Baumberg
– ACS Photonics
Effect of nuclear motion on the critical nuclear charge for two-electron atoms
AW King, LC Rhodes, CA Readman, H Cox
– Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

Graduate student

Telephone number

01223 334372 (shared)

Email address