Professor Angelos Michaelides

Prof Angelos Michaelides

tel: +44 (0)20 7679 0647
ext: 30647
fax: +44 (0)20 7679 0055

301 Kathleen Lonsdale Building


Angelos Michaelides obtained a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry in 2000 from The Queen's University of Belfast. Following this he worked as a post-doctoral research associate and junior research fellow at the University of Cambridge and then at the Fritz Haber Institute, Berlin, as an Alexander von Humboldt research fellow. Subsequently he was promoted to staff scientist and research group leader at the Fritz Haber Institute. In 2006 he moved to University College London, where since 2009 he has been Professor of Theoretical Chemistry.

He has received a number of honours and awards for his research including the Royal Irish Academy Young Irish Chemist of the Year (2000), a visiting professorship at École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (2004), a European Young Investigator Award (2005), a European Research Council Startup Grant (ERC), and a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2012). He was also the 2010 recipient of the Royal Society of Chemistry Marlow Award "For his innovative contributions in broad areas of surface and physical chemistry, with particular relevance to heterogeneous catalysis and improved understanding of the water-ice interface".  In 2012 became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemsitry.

Since 2011 has been Director of the Thomas Young Centre ( and since 2013 he has been an Associate Editor of the Journal of Chemical Physics ( 


Our research aims at understanding important phenomena in surface- materials- and nano-science. Using concepts from quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics, we apply and develop methods and computer simulations to study processes of relevance to catalysis - such as the properties of metal surfaces and chemical reactions at surfaces - and processes of environmental relevance - such as the nucleation of ice or the dissolution of salts. Water and ice are major focuses of our work.

For more information on our research, including movies of recent simulation results, see

Recent Publications

Initial stages of salt dissolution determined with ab intio molecular dynamics,
Li-Min Liu, Alessandro Laio and Angelos Michaelides,
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 13, 13162 (2011) [pdf]

Melting the Ice: On the Relation between Melting Temperature and Size for Nanoscale Ice Crystals,
Ding Pan, Li-Min Liu, Ben Slater, Angelos Michaelides and Enge Wang,
ACS Nano, 5, 4562 (2011) [pdf]

Van der Waals density functionals applied to solids,
Jiří Klimeš, David R. Bowler and Angelos Michaelides,
Phys. Rev. B 83, 195131 (2011) [pdf]

Quantum nature of the hydrogen bond,
Xin-Zheng Li, Brent Walker and Angelos Michaelides
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108, 6369 (2011) [pdf]

c(2x2) Water-Hydroxyl Layer on Cu(110): A Wetting Layer Stabilized by Bjerrum defects.
Matthew Forster, Rasmita Raval, Andrew Hodgson, Javier Carrasco and Angelos Michaelides
Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 046103 (2011) [pdf]

To wet or not to wet? Dispersion forces tip the balance for water-ice on metals.
Javier Carrasco, Biswajit Santra, Jiří Klimeš and Angelos Michaelides
Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 026101 (2011) [pdf]

Theory of gold on ceria
Changjun Zhang, Angelos Michaelides, and Stephen J. Jenkins
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 13, 22 (2011) [pdf]

For a full publication list see

Research Highlights

Ab-initio path-integral molecular dynamics simulation of metallic liquid phase i
Theoretical techniques have been used to predict the existence of metallic liquid hydrogen at low temperature and high...
When water binds to solid surfaces it forms a large variety of structures, which leads to behaviour relevant to many...
A view of the ice surface illustrating weakly, intermediate and strongly bound w
Ice exhibits a phenomenon known as pre-melting which was first alluded to by Michael Faraday in his ‘regelation'...
Close up on salt dissolving: A snapshot along the reaction pathway as a chlorine
Computer simulations reveal in the most exquisite detail how salt crystals dissolve in water. Salt dissolution has a...
A partially melted ice nanoparticle at about -100 degrees Celsius
Computer simulations provide a molecule's eye view of the melting of ice nanoparticles, predicting melting at very low...
In a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Xinzheng Li, Brent Walker, and Angelos Michaelides...
STM image showing a distorted hexagonal arrangement of overlayer molecules
On many wet surfaces the first contact layer of water is not comprised of pure water but is instead a mixture of water and...
Dispersion forces tip the balance for water-ice on metals
Ice formation on metal surfaces plays a fundamental role in fields as diverse as the atmospheric sciences, geology, and...

General News

With the award of €1.9m to LCN researcher, Professor Angelos Michaelides, UCL’s share of European Research Council (ERC) funding for 2008-2013 has breached the &e
Professor Angelos Michaelides has been awarded a Gabor Somorjai Miller Visiting Professorship at the University of California, Berkeley.