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Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry


Royal Society University Research Fellow


Research Interests

The behavior of liquids and their interfaces underlies many important phenomena across the biological and physical sciences. I use molecular simulations and statistical mechanics to elicit the microscopic details of interfacial systems, with an emphasis on perhaps the most important of all liquids: water and its salt solutions. 

Recent research has focused on improving simulations methods to give a better description of ions adsorbed to charged interfaces [1], which is important for tackling complex problems such as ice nucleation [2]. I also have a keen interest in understanding dielectric response in water [3,4] and its implications for aqueous ion solvation [5].

[1] T Sayer & SJ Cox, J. Chem. Phys. 153, 164709 (2020) [publisher,arXiv]

[2] T Sayer & SJ Cox, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 21, 14546 (2019) [publisher,arXiv]

[3] SJ Cox, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 117, 19746 (2020) [publisher,arXiv]

[4] SJ Cox & M Sprik, J. Chem. Phys. 151, 064506 (2019) [publisher,arXiv]

[5] SJ Cox, DG Thorpe, PR Shaffer & PL Geissler, Chem. Sci. 11, 11791 (2020) [publisher,arXiv]



Possible PhD projects involve improving simulation methodology to understand the structure and dynamics of charged interfaces in solution; using molecular simulations to understand how polar crystals grow; or pursuing theoretical approaches to improve our understanding of complex fluids. 

If you are interested in joining the team, please get in touch to discuss opportunities.



  • 2021-present: Royal Society University Research Fellow, Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2017-2021: Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellow, visiting Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2018-present: College lecturer, Churchill College, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2020-2021: Undergraduate Tutor, Churchill College, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2015-2017: Postdoctoral research fellow, Chemical Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Ca. USA
  • 2010-2014: PhD student, Department of Chemistry, University College London, UK




Classical Quantum Friction at Water–Carbon Interfaces
AT Bui, FL Thiemann, A Michaelides, SJ Cox
– Nano Lett
Crumbling Crystals: On the Dissolution Mechanism of NaCl in Water
N O'Neill, C Schran, SJ Cox, A Michaelides
Classical quantum friction at water-carbon interfaces
AT Bui, FL Thiemann, A Michaelides, SJ Cox
A theory for the stabilization of polar crystal surfaces by a liquid environment.
SJ Cox
– The Journal of Chemical Physics
Dielectric response of thin water films: a thermodynamic perspective.
SJ Cox, PL Geissler
– Chem Sci
Understanding crystal nucleation mechanisms: Where do we stand? General discussion
MW Anderson, M Bennett, R Cedeno, H Cölfen, SJ Cox, AJ Cruz-Cabeza, JJ De Yoreo, R Drummond-Brydson, MK Dudek, KA Fichthorn, AR Finney, I Ford, JM Galloway, D Gebauer, R Grossier, JH Harding, A Hare, D Horváth, L Hunter, J Kim, Y Kimura, CEA Kirschhock, AA Kiselev, W Kras, C Kuttner, AY Lee, Z Liao, L Maini, SO Nilsson Lill, N Pellens, SL Price, IB Rietveld, JD Rimer, KJ Roberts, J Rogal, M Salvalaglio, I Sandei, G Schuszter, J Sefcik, W Sun, JH Ter Horst, M Ukrainczyk, AES Van Driessche, S Veesler, PG Vekilov, V Verma, T Whale, HP Wheatcroft, J Zeglinski
– Faraday discussions
Can molecular simulations reliably compare homogeneous and heterogeneous ice nucleation?
D Atherton, A Michaelides, SJ Cox
– J Chem Phys
How do interfaces alter the dynamics of supercooled water?
P Gasparotto, M Fitzner, SJ Cox, GC Sosso, A Michaelides
– Nanoscale
Quadrupole-mediated dielectric response and the charge-asymmetric solvation of ions in water
SJ Cox, KK Mandadapu, PL Geissler
– The Journal of chemical physics
Microscopic Kinetics Pathway of Salt Crystallization in Graphene Nanocapillaries.
L Wang, J Chen, SJ Cox, L Liu, GC Sosso, N Li, P Gao, A Michaelides, E Wang, X Bai
– Physical review letters
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Research Group

Research Interest Group

Telephone number

01223 336384 (shared)

Email address