Susan Perkin is Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry and Fellow of Trinity College, University of Oxford. She earned her DPhil in 2006 studying with Jacob Klein , working both in Oxford and at the Weizmann Institute, and with a Senior Scholarship from Balliol College, Oxford. She was also a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College from 2005-2008. She moved to UCL in London (2007-2012, as RCUK Fellow then Lecturer) where she set up a laboratory and research group to work on ionic liquids and liquid interfaces. In 2012 she was appointed to a faculty position in the Physical & Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford. Current interests include electrostatics in concentrated electrolytes and ionic liquids, molecular mechanisms of friction and lubrication, field effects on confined liquids, graphene surface forces, and controlling surface properties through the design of switchable thin films. In the past several years Susan has been awarded a Starting Grant from the ERC (2015), the Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize (2016) from the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Philip Leverhulme Prize (2016) from The Leverhulme Trust, and the Soft Matter Lectureship (2018) from the journal Soft Matter.



Dr Romain Lhermerout

Romain did his phD at the Laboratoire de Physique Statistique de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, under the supervision of Kristina Davitt and Etienne Rolley, during which he studied contact angle dynamics and its link with the nanoscale properties of the solid surface. Romain has joined the Perkin Group as a Postdoctoral Research Associate to find techniques to externally control adhesion and friction in a reversible way. In his free time, he is a bass trombone player in a symphony orchestra, but also likes cooking, tinkering, bicycling, scuba diving, sightseeing...




Dr Carla Perez-Martinez

Carla Perez-Martinez earned her BS, MS and PhD from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Carla’s Ph.D. dissertation involved optimizing ionic liquid ion source technology for its application in space propulsion and also for micro and nano fabrication, particularly for focused ion beams. Carla joined Oxford in July 2016 to perform research on the effects of electric fields on ionic liquids under confinement.



James Hallett


Dr James Hallett

James did his PhD at the University of Bristol as part of the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials. His PhD work, under the supervision of Professors Paul Bartlett and Robert Richardson, focused on the use of scattering techniques to study the dynamics and structure of charged nanoparticles in salt-free conditions. Following his PhD he completed a postdoc in the group of Dr Paddy Royall, also at the university of Bristol, using confocal microscopy techniques to study dynamic arrest in colloidal materials. He joined the Perkin group in 2018 to study the effect of confinement on out-of-equilibrium liquids. In his spare time James is a bassist in a rock band, but also enjoys craft beer, running, cycling and DIY.



A Photo of Ellie Milnes Smith


Eleanor (Ellie) Milnes-Smith

Ellie was born and brought up in South London and received her MChem from Oxford University (St John's College) in 2014. She joined the Perkin Group for her Part II project in September 2013, and chose to stay on for a DPhil. She is particularly interested in plasma polymer films, and the properties of fluorinated surfaces. In her spare time, Ellie enjoys working on student welfare issues, and is also a fan of zumba.





Astrid Southam

Astrid was born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland, before moving to the UK to complete her MChem at the University of Nottingham; she spent the third year of her studies at the University of Hong Kong, working on new electronic transitions of platinum monofluoride. Her fourth year Master’s project explored the effect of ionic liquids on surface reactions in Ultra-High Vacuum. She joined the group in 2017 for her PhD, during which she is looking to focus on the behaviour of ionic liquids confined to the nanoscale and how they are affected by electric fields. In her free time, Astrid enjoys climbing, trail running, cycling and tea.






Hannah Hayler

Hannah was born and brought up in Surrey and completed her MChem at Durham University. Her Master’s project focused on analysing medieval manuscripts with visible and infrared spectroscopy. She joined the group in 2018 for her DPhil, where she will be investigating underscreening. Outside of the lab, she enjoys baking, walking and cheerleading.





Weichao Zheng

Weichao was born in China and completed his Bachelor and Master’s degree at Sichuan University. He joined the Perkin group as Early Stage Researcher in March 2019 and is also registered in University of Calabria as PhD student working on optical and mechanical response of liquid crystals under nano-confinement. In his spare time, Weichao enjoys hiking and running.




Tim Groves

Tim was born in Sheffield and is currently an undergraduate at the University of Oxford (Worcester College). He joined the Perkin group in September 2018 for his Part II project, in which he hopes to measure the activities of ionic liquid solutions. In his spare time he enjoys reading and playing the piano.





Xiaoyue Wu

Xiaoyue was born in China and raised in Singapore.  She is currently at the 4th year of her MChem degree at Oxford University (St Peter’s College). She first joined the Perkin group in June 2017 for a summer project measuring electrocapillarity at the interface between mercury and electrolytes using pendant drop method and chose to stay on for her part II project. She is currently looking into crystallization of colloids under confinement. During her free time, she enjoys drawing and playing the cello.

2012 arrival in Oxford  (Alex, Laura & Kevin, Rosa & Susa, Nitya & Gita)

2014 croquet battle (Liguo, Alex, Susan, Ellie, Nico, Florian, Chris, Sam)

2018 in the park (Romain, Ellie, James, Susan, Marco, Carla, Astrid, Natasha, Christophe)

2018 Christmas Dinner (Weichao, Romain, Carla, Tim, Xiaoyue, Susan, Ellie, James, Astrid, Hannah)