skip to content

Assistant Teaching Professor and MRes Co-Director, EPSRC CDT in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NanoDTC), Department of Physics

Research Fellow in Science Communication and Director of Studies in Natural Sciences (Physical), King's College

Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, James is an engineer by training and a physicist by vocation. He graduated in 2012 with an MEng in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford, having specialised in electrical, electronic, and control engineering. He completed his PhD, an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Departments of Engineering and Physics at the University of Cambridge, in 2017 as part of the EPSRC CDT in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NanoDTC). Between 2017 and 2020, James held postdoctoral positions at the Adolphe Merkle Institute, Fribourg, Switzerland, and the Institute for Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, USA.

James' scientific interests lie at the intersection of nanophotonics and soft matter physics. He has investigated ways to use the (directed) self-assembly of liquid crystals and block copolymers to create two- and three-dimensional optical metasurfaces and metamaterials with dynamically reconfigurable optical properties. During his PhD, James used thermal and solvent vapor annealing to create gyroid-structured optical metamaterials with long-range order from linear triblock terpolymers, and characterised the unusual crystallisation behavior of the polymer templates and the anomalous optical properties of the resulting metamaterials.

As a research fellow in science communication at King's, James is interested in how scientists’ conceptions of science—what it is, how it works, and what its for—affect how and why they communicate their science. In particular, he focuses on science communication with policy makers, working in collaboration with the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP); and, together with students in Cambridge and collaborators at Brunel University London, investigates improv comedy as a novel public engagement technique.

James is a co-creator, -host, and -producer of the University's podcast, Mind Over Chatter.


Polarization-Insensitive Medium-Switchable Holographic Metasurfaces
H Cai, JA Dolan, GSD Gordon, T Chung, D López
– ACS Photonics
Broadband Liquid Crystal Tunable Metasurfaces in the Visible: Liquid Crystal Inhomogeneities across the Metasurface Parameter Space
JA Dolan, H Cai, L Delalande, X Li, ABF Martinson, JJ De Pablo, D López, PF Nealey
– ACS Photonics
Strong Circular Dichroism in Single Gyroid Optical Metamaterials
C Kilchoer, N Abdollahi, JA Dolan, D Abdelrahman, M Saba, U Wiesner, U Steiner, I Gunkel, BD Wilts
– Advanced Optical Materials
Soft crystal martensites: An in situ resonant soft x-ray scattering study of a liquid crystal martensitic transformation.
HM Jin, X Li, JA Dolan, RJ Kline, JA Martínez-González, J Ren, C Zhou, JJ de Pablo, PF Nealey
– Science Advances
Sculpted grain boundaries in soft crystals
X Li, JA Martínez-González, O Guzmán, X Ma, K Park, C Zhou, Y Kambe, HM Jin, JA Dolan, PF Nealey, JJ de Pablo
– Science Advances
Hierarchical Assembly of Plasmonic Nanoparticle Heterodimer Arrays with Tunable Sub‑5 nm Nanogaps
J Li, T-S Deng, X Liu, JA Dolan, NF Scherer, PF Nealey
– Nano Lett
Metasurfaces Atop Metamaterials: Surface Morphology Induces Linear Dichroism in Gyroid Optical Metamaterials
JA Dolan, R Dehmel, A Demetriadou, Y Gu, U Wiesner, TD Wilkinson, I Gunkel, O Hess, JJ Baumberg, U Steiner, M Saba, BD Wilts
– Adv Mater
Linear and Circular Dichroism in Gyroid Optical Metamaterials
C Kilchoer, JA Dolan, M Saba, N Abdollahi, K Korzeb, U Wiesner, U Steiner, I Gunkel, BD Wilts
– 2018 12th International Congress on Artificial Materials for Novel Wave Phenomena, METAMATERIALS 2018
Gyroid Optical Metamaterials Solvent Vapour Annealing, Confined Crystallisation, and Optical Anisotropy
JA Dolan
Controlling Self‐Assembly in Gyroid Terpolymer Films By Solvent Vapor Annealing
JA Dolan, K Korzeb, R Dehmel, KC Gödel, M Stefik, U Wiesner, TD Wilkinson, JJ Baumberg, BD Wilts, U Steiner, I Gunkel
– Small
  • 1 of 2
  • >