Robert Young

Professor Robert Young (group leader). Rob is an experimental physicist with a passion for developing practical applications of quantum technologies. The last decade saw the beginning of another new generation of technology, one that is underpinned by the quantum nature of the devices. This technology will have a huge impact on our lives in many ways; the first being to enable truly secure communications. Rob’s contribution in this exciting new field was seeded by a Master’s degree in physics from Oxford University (2002), before moving to Cambridge to complete a PhD in experimental quantum information processing. Here he was part of the world-leading Semiconductor Physics Group, led by Prof. Sir Michael Pepper. For his PhD he won two awards, from the Institute of Physics and an EU network. He holds a Chair in Quantum Information at Lancaster University, a Royal Society Research Fellow, an Adjunct Professor at IFFS (Chengdu), is the secretary of the Institute of Physics' Semiconductor Group, a committee member for the Quantum Electronics and Photonics Group, a founding member of Lancaster University's Quantum Technology Centre, and a management board member of doctoral training centre Graphene-Nownano.

Email -    Phone - +44 (0) 1524 592222

Post-doctoral researchers and Impact fellows

Dr Nema Abdelazim. Nema earned her Master's in solid state physics from Assiut University, Egypt. She then obtained her PhD from City University of Hong Kong 2017 under the supervision of Prof. Andrey Rogach. Her PhD research focused on infrared colloidal quantum dots for optoelectronic applications. She joined the group at Lancaster in January 2018, working on quantum security devices.

Dr Ibrahim Ethem Bagci. Ethem has collaborated with the group since 2013. He completed his PhD from School of Computing Communications (SCC) from Lancaster University in 2016 under the supervision of Prof. Utz Roedig. He is experienced with wireless and Internet of Things security, and is now a research associate based in SSC focusing on network security and physical unclonable functions.

Dr Prabhuraj Balakrishnan. Prabhuraj joined the group as a post-doc, after completing his PhD in the University of Manchester, in engineering the engine room of methanol fuel cells using a novel graphene suspension/configuration. This work led to two patents, three publications and research grants. For his work on fuel cells he received the Young Chemical Engineer of the year award from the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and a 'Doctoral Research Award' from the Association of British Turkish Academics. Currently he is working to improve the optical properties of different 2D materials (hBN, InSe, WS2 etc) using different surface treatment methodologies. More details about his research, teaching and outreaching (conference and TED presentations) works can be found on his webpage.

Ramón Bernardo Gavito

Dr Ramón Bernardo Gavito. Ramón completed his PhD at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid studying different ways to tailor the electronic properties of epitaxial graphene, such as intercalation and periodic covalent functionalisation, by means of scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy. He has also worked at IMDEA Nanoscience (Madrid) in the fabrication and optical characterisation of molybdenum disulfide and noble metal plasmonic nanostructures.


Yasir J Noori

Dr Yasir Noori. Yasir joined the group as a PhD student in 2013, after winning a Faculty of Science and Technology scholarship at Lancaster University. During his work in the Y-Q group, Yasir has become an expert in electron beam lithography, reactive ion etching and scanning electron microscopy. He also gained a great amount of experience in finite difference time domain modelling using high-end supercomputers with many different packages. Yasir graduated from Dundee University in 2013 with a first class degree with Honours in Electronic Engineering and Physics.

Dr Alexander Robson. Alex is a technology access consultant on the ERDF Cumbria Innovations Platform (CUSP) project – an initiative helping business to access technical and management expertise from Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria. His research interests include the deposition and characterisation of 2D materials, as well as the cross-sectional analysis of a wide range of materials and structures.
Alex obtained his PhD in 2014 from Lancaster University, focusing on cross-sectional scanning probe microscopy (SPM) techniques and their application to compound semiconductor structures and devices. He subsequently worked to optimise the methodology of SPM measurements of samples prepared via beam-exit cross-sectional polishing – an ion-beam milling technique developed at and patented by Lancaster University. He was a senior research associate on the European Commission project QUANTIHEAT (QUANTItative scanning probe microscopy techniques for HEAT transfer management in nanomaterials and nanodevices, FP7-NMP-2013-LARGE-7), involving twenty partner institutes in academic and industrial fields with the aim of tackling and validating thermal metrology at the nanoscale.

Dr Chen Wang. Chen obtained his MSc (2010) and PhD (2015) in the Dept of EEE at Imperial College London. The fruitful results of his work led to a researcher position at Imperial College in the project of ‘Single Nanometer Manufacturing for Beyond CMOS’ from Mar 2014 to Nov 2017, where he had been working as a Post-doctoral Research Associate since Oct 2015, for fabrication of sub-10 nm quantum dot devices, including design, fabrication, measurement and data analysis. He joined the group at Lancaster in Dec 2017, for quantum security devices manufacturing in Si, using his expertise in nano-fabrication and electrical characterisation.

Chris Woodhead

Dr Chris Woodhead. Chris joined the group as a PhD student in October 2013 after completing his undergraduate degree within the Physics department at Lancaster. The fruitful results of his project led to a post-doctoral researcher position in the group, where he is currently working on optical PUFs.

Dr Sheng Ye. Sheng joined the group as a senior research associate in 2017 to work on thin-film based detectors/sensors and quantum information devices. Sheng completed his PhD at the  University of Southampton in 2016, having studied nano-electronic devices (FET, SET) and nano-technologies. After his PhD, he joined a project fabricating radiation hardened CMOS devices for space application as a post-doc. Sheng is an expert in nano-electronic device fabrication and characterisation. He is currently developing thin-film based cost-efficient and radiation tolerant pixel detectors.

Research students

John Campbell

John Campbell. Joined the group in 2015 as part of the EPSRC NOWNano doctoral training centre. His primary supervisor is Dr Max Migliorato at Manchester University.


James Fong. James joined the group as a PhD student in October 2017, after completing a 2-month internship. He is investigating fabrication methods and optoelectronic properties of 2D materials. James obtained a first-class Master’s degree from Lancaster University. He is jointly supervised by Dr Ben Robinson.

James Howarth

James Howarth. Joined the group in 2016 as part of the EPSRC NOWNano doctoral training centre to develop quantum light sources with two-dimensional materials. He is jointly supervised by Professor Kostya Novoselov FRS and Dr Young.


Povilas Marcinkevicius. Povilas has been working on algorithms to detect, transform and compare OPUFs since 2016. He joined during the 4th year of his integrated Master's degree, which he has finished in 2017. He is now a part of the group as a PhD student, jointly supervised by Prof. Utz Roedig.

Tom McGrath. Tom joined the group as a PhD student in 2017 having completed a very successful 6-month internship.

Visiting researchers, assistants and Master's students

Ben headshot

Ben Astbury. Ben joined the group to study for a masters degree after completing a successful bachelors at Lancaster University. He is currently investigating strong physical unclonable functions as a research assistant.


Scott Dean. Scott joined the group for a 2-month internship in 2017. He is now undergoing a Master's project at Lancaster University studying electronic properties of physical unclonable functions.

Georgina Plant. Georgina joined the group in 2017 as part of a two-month internship. She is now studying for a Master's in 2D materials at Lancaster University in the last year of her undergraduate degree

Previous members of the group

Sam Moorby (research student)

Joseph Welford (research student)

Andrew Bussey (research student)

Bonnie Tsim (research student)

Lucas Mogg (research student)

Andrés Black (visiting researcher)

Grace Beaney Colverd (research student)

Jonathan Roberts (research student and PDRA)

James Robson (research student)

Dominika Bogusz (research student)

Ben Dodds (research student)

Christine Barthelmes (research student)

Hamzah shokeir (research student)

Theo Noble (research student)

Nicholas Hulbert (research student)

Hazel Gardner (research student)

Veronica Letka (research student)

Matt Young (research student)

Josh Rose (research student)

Peter Tovee (PDRA)

Scott Dean (research student)

Georgina Plant (research student)

Tom Salisbury (research student)

James Fong (research student)

Oliver McHugh (research student)

Dr Yameng Cao (PDRA)