skip to content

'Forget biology, chemistry or physics – the most exciting research is happening at the interface of the disciplines.


Our group is looks into the fascinating chemistry occurring within bio-hybrid interfaces and natural electron/energy transfer processes. We use a highly multidisciplinary approach to probe and manipulate the bioenergetics of living systems to address challenges relating to clean energy generation, the environment, climate change and eventually even health. We combine the strengths of chemical biology, material chemistry, (photo)electrochemistry to:

  • answer fundamental questions about natural energy conversion processes such as photosynthesis and extracellular electron transfer.
  • create novel platforms for biotechnologies (e.g. for fuels/power generation, bio-sensing, anti-fouling).
  • create new tools for understanding and controlling the bio-material interface.

At the core of our work is electrochemistry, which we use to understand the dynamic electron transfer processes occurring at the material interfaces. We collaborate with biologists, engineers, theoreticians and spectroscopists to disentangle and clarify the complex processes occurring at the bio-material interface. 



2022 - August: Back to back conferences - International Electrochemical Society Regional Conference in Prague, then International Symposium on Phototrophic Prokaryotes in Liverpool. Josh wins (another) poster prize at the ISPP!!

2022 - July: We welcome Jessica Wilson, who is doing her RSC summer internship with us! 

2022 - May-June: We welcome Robin Horton as a NanoDTC midi student! Also welcome to Dr Vincent Friebe, Prof Nicolas Plumeré and visiting scholars to our group. Jenny was awarded a L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science UK and Ireland Rising Talents Awards!! 

2022 - April: BES conference in Antwerp, here we come! Also, our Cambridge Creative Encounters collaboration with animator Shuna Luo can finally be unveiled! Check out the final result here: The photo that Gaby and Xiaolong took of our electrodes was picked as one of the best science images of the month by Nature Briefings. Rachel and Evan presented their first in-person poster at the BES conference - both did an amazing job. Congrats to Rachel for winning a best poster prize!!

2022 - March: Our paper '3D-printed hierarchical pillar array electrodes for high-performance semi-artificial photosynthesis' was published in Nature Materials! Nature Materials Reviews did a nice feature on it: Electricity from cells | Nature Reviews Materials. Jenny talks at the Cambridge University Scientific Society.

2022 - January to February: Jenny teaches the C1 Electrochemistry course. Benedetta Gaggio (NanoDTC) joins Louise Hirst (Physics) and our group for an interdisciplinary mini-project. Gerardo Patino Guillen (NanoDTC) joins Michael De Volder (Engineering) and our group for an interdisciplinary mini-project. 



2021 - November to December: It's been a busy Michaelmas Term! Jenny attended LightCheC in Zurich, the first in person meeting in a long time. Rachel was awarded a NanoDTC Associateship. Mairi was interviewed by the BBC for her amazing nature photography work. Evan returns from his internship with a NGO supporting events around COP26. 

2021 - October: We welcomed our new postdoc Dr Mary Wood (Human Frontier Fellow from EPFL), our new Mphil student Lan Nan (from Nottingham University) and Part III student Emma Pike!

2021 - September: We co-hosted (with the RSC) the annual RSC Chemical Science Symposium (Theme: Biohybrids in Sustainable Energy Conversion). Congratulations to our students Joshua Lawrence and Rachel Egan who both won poster prizes! We farewell Alice Beardmore and PhD student Laura Wey (co-group member with Howe group), who starts a postdoc with Yagot Allahverdiyeva-Rinne (University of Turku). Good luck Laura!

2021 - July to August:  Our collaborative paper (with Howe group, Biochemistry) 'A biophotoelectrochemical approach to unravelling the role of cyanobacterial cell structures in exoelectrogenesis' was published! We farewelled Connie and welcome Alice Beardmore as summer interns. Jenny was awarded with her RSC Felix Franks Medal for Biotechnology!

2021 - June: We welcomed our summer student Connie Zhao.

2021 - May: We welcomed our new Mphil student, Shella Wylliam (Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education Scholarship). Laura gave a fantastic talk at the Bioelectrochemical Society Conference, Josh won a poster prize. Congrats to both.

2021 - February to April: We had a fun combined group meeting with the group of Tanai Cardona (ICL, London). We farewelled Part III students Henry Fong and Mairi Eyres. 

2021 - January: Our paper on 'Phenazines as model low-midpoint potential electron shuttles for photosynthetic bioelectrochemical systems' published in Chemical Science. Rachel Egan successful defended her Mphil and starts a PhD (Robert Gardiner Memorial/Cambridge Trust Scholar).


2020 - November to December: We had fun holding combined group meetings with the groups of Silvia Vignolini (Cambridge), Roisin Owens (Cambridge), Susan Daniel (Cornell)

2020 - October: We farewelled Luke Kramer (Gates Scholar) and wish him best of luck in his Med Degree. We welcomed Linying Shang (CSC/Cambridge Trust Scholar) joining us for a PhD. We also welcomed our Part III students Mairi Eyres and Henry Fong. We co-hosted the NanoGE International Conference on Biohybrid Approaches to Solar Energy Conversion. It was a huge success and group member Xiaolong Chen came away with a poster prize!

Related image                         Logos and acknowledgement | The Leverhulme Trust                         Gatsby Foundation