Dr Rohit Chikkaraddy

Dr Rohit Chikkaraddy

School of Physics and Astronomy
Assistant Professor in Physics

Contact details

School of Physics and Astronomy
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Experimentalist specializing in strong light-matter coupling within individual atoms, molecules, and proteins. My research explores nano-optics, metamaterials, and bio-photonics, addressing challenges in sensing, catalysis, and heat management at nanoscale. He is a member of the Metamaterials and Nanophotonics research centre.


  • Assistant Professor in Physics, School of Physics and Astronomy
  • Junior Research Fellowship, Trinity College, University of Cambridge, 2018-2022
  • PhD in Physics, St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, 2018
  • BS-MS, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, 2014


Dr Rohit Chikkaraddy joined as an Assistant Professor in Physics at the University of Birmingham in July 2022. Prior to this, he was a Research Fellow at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, where his research focused on light-matter interactions using plasmonic nanocavities.

In 2018, Rohit earned his PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge, receiving multiple fellowships, scholarships, and travel grants, including the Lindau Bayer Fellowship, representing the UK at the Nobel Laureate Meeting. His exceptional contributions as an early career researcher were recognized with the 2021 IOP Bates Prize.

Rohit commenced his academic journey in the UK in 2014 after completing his BS-MS at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune. His current research interests include the development of nanomaterials and devices for sensing and spectroscopy.


  • Year 1: Physics 1A Laboratory
  • Year 2: Optics
  • Year 3: Optics and Photonics Laboratory

Postgraduate supervision

PhD Students

  • Anju Sajan
  • Christopher Sumner


Dr Chikkaraddy’s research interests lie in the development of new methods to confine and couple light to manipulate the dynamics of nanomaterials, molecules and proteins at a single-copy limit, having applications in nano-optics, material science and biophotonics.

Optical Fields in Nanogaps

How to use light to see objects at the nanometre scale? How to control the spatial and spectral features of optical fields in nanometre-sized gaps? The design of innovative metallic nanostructures with tuneable nanogaps helps address these questions, resulting in unprecedented optical properties that allow us to control molecular dynamics.

Single-molecule SERS

Monitoring chemistry down to the single-molecule level is challenging. Leveraging SERS and guest-host assembly, one could position molecules precisely in tiny gaps and alter their vibrational and electronic dynamics. Such optomechanical coupling offers new tools to break and make chemical bonds at the single-molecule scale.


Conventional self-assembly methods of single molecules suffer from randomness, low yield and scalability. DNA-origami can be used to attain precision assembly of light-emitting single molecules in nanogaps, resulting in enhanced light emission which translates to faster and brighter single-photon sources relevant to quantum technology.

Quantum Sensing

Strong mixing of light and single molecules at room temperature can yield new hybrid quantum states with half-light half-matter nature. Such unusual interactions provide new ways to manipulate the physical and chemical properties of matter. The resulting effects can be harnessed for quantum sensing and spectroscopy towards understanding complex processes such as photosynthesis.

Mid-infrared Photonics

Optical detection in the mid-infrared (MIR) range with single-photon sensitivity has wide implications but it suffers from low signals and quantum efficiencies. Upconverting low-energy MIR photons to high-energy visible photons utilizing plasmonic cavity-enhanced strong coupling can push detection limits down to single-photon and single-molecule regimes.

Organic Optical Channels

Light transport in 1-D nanoarchitectures has tremendous technological implications. Strategic assembly of organic nanostructures such as nanowires and coupling with molecules possessing different functionalities can enhance their light/energy transport properties, relevant in organic light-harvesting devices.


10 Selected Publications

Chikkaraddy, R., Arul, R., Jakob, L. A., & Baumberg, J.J. (2023). Single-molecule mid-IR detection through vibrationally-assisted luminescence. Nature Photonics 17, 865–871.

Chikkaraddy, R., Xomalis, A., Jakob, L. A., & Baumberg, J. J. (2022). Mid-infrared-perturbed molecular vibrational signatures in plasmonic nanocavities. Light: Science & Applications, 11(1), 1-9.

Chikkaraddy, R., & Baumberg, J. J. (2021). Accessing plasmonic hotspots using nanoparticle-on-foil constructs. ACS Photonics, 8(9), 2811-2817.

Xomalis, A., Zheng, X., Chikkaraddy, R., Koczor-Benda, Z., Miele, E., Rosta, E., ... & Baumberg, J. J. (2021). Detecting mid-infrared light by molecular frequency upconversion in dual-wavelength nanoantennas. Science,374(6572), 1268-1271.

Cheetham, M. R., Griffiths, J., Nijs, B. D., Heath, G. R.,Evans, S. D., Baumberg, J. J., & Chikkaraddy, R. (2020). Out-of-Plane Nanoscale Reorganization of Lipid Molecules and Nanoparticles Revealed by Plasmonic Spectroscopy. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 11(8), 2875-2882.

Ojambati, O. S., Chikkaraddy, R., Deacon, W. D., Horton, M.,Kos, D., Turek, V. A., ... & Baumberg, J. J. (2019). Quantum electrodynamics at room temperature coupling a single vibrating molecule with a plasmonic nanocavity. Nature Communications,10(1), 1-7.

Chikkaraddy, R., Turek, V. A., Kongsuwan, N., Benz, F.,Carnegie, C., Van De Goor, T., ... & Baumberg, J. J. (2018). Mapping nanoscale hotspots with single-molecule emitters assembled into plasmonic nanocavities using DNA origami. Nano Letters, 18(1), 405-411.

Chikkaraddy, R., Zheng, X., Benz, F., Brooks, L. J., De Nijs, B., Carnegie, C., ... & Baumberg, J. J. (2017). How ultranarrow gap symmetries control plasmonic nanocavity modes: from cubes to spheres in the nanoparticle-on-mirror. ACS Photonics, 4(3), 469-475.

Kleemann, M. E., Chikkaraddy, R., Alexeev, E. M., Kos, D., Carnegie, C., Deacon, W., ... & Baumberg, J. J. (2017). Strong-coupling of WSe2 in ultra-compact plasmonic nanocavities at room temperature. Nature Communications, 8(1), 1-7.

Chikkaraddy, R., De Nijs, B., Benz, F., Barrow, S. J., Scherman, O. A., Rosta, E., ... & Baumberg, J. J. (2016). Single-molecule strong coupling at room temperature in plasmonic nanocavities. Nature, 535(7610), 127-130.

View all publications in research portal