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 with research focus on the fundamental science and technological implications of strong light-matter coupling within individual atoms, molecules, and proteins. This encompasses a broad class of systems from nano-optics to metamaterials to bio-photonics, addressing challenges in the field of biosensors, catalysis, and heat management. He is a member of the Metamaterials research centre.


  • 2018-2022: Junior Research Fellow (Title-A), Trinity College, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2014-2018: PhD in Physics, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2009-2014: BS-MS, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune, India


Dr Rohit Chikkaraddy joined the University of Birmingham in July 2022 as an Assistant Professor in Physics. Prior to this appointment, Rohit was a Research Fellow at Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK. His research focused on exploring light-matter interaction at the nanoscale using plasmonic nanocavities. He completed his PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge (St. Johns College) in 2018. Rohit has received multiple fellowships, scholarships and travel grants including the Lindau Bayer Fellowship to represent UK at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. He was awarded the 2021 IOP Bates prize for his outstanding contributions as an early career researcher. Rohit moved to the UK in 2014 after completing BS-MS from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune.


Dr Rohit's research focuses on developing new methods to confine and couple light to probe and manipulate the dynamics of nanoscale objects, molecules, and proteins at a single-copy limit. This encompasses a broad class of systems in several fields from nano-optics to material science to bio-photonics.

Optical Fields in Nanogaps

How to 'see' things at nanometre scale with light? How to control spatial and spectral features of optical fields in nanometre gaps? To address these questions, we design and develop innovative coupled metallic nanostructures with tuneable nanogaps, having unprecedented optical properties which allows us to control molecular level physical and chemical dynamics.

Single-molecule SERS

Monitoring and directing chemistry down to single-molecule level is a challenging task. Utilizing SERS and guest-host approach to precisely position molecules in tiny gaps, we study and alter the vibrational and electronic dynamics of single molecules. Such opto-mechanical coupling can potentially bring new tools to break-and-make chemical bonds at single-molecule level.

QED Molecular Interactions

By strongly mixing light and single-molecules at room temperature, new mixed light-matter quantum states are created. Such unusual interactions of light and matter can provide new ways to manipulate the physical and chemical properties of matter and can be used for quantum information processing to help understand complex processes such as photosynthesis.


Conventional self-assembly methods of single molecules suffer from randomness, low-yield and scalability. Using DNA-origami, we attain precision assembly of light-emitting single molecules in nanogaps. This results in enhanced light emission which translates to faster and brighter single-photon sources relevant for quantum technological applications.

Organic Optical Channels

Light transport in 1-D nanoscale structures has tremendous technological implications. To explore this, we assemble several organic nanostructures such as nanowires and couple them with molecules having different functionalities to enhance their transport properties, which can be used for efficient organic light-harvesting solar devices.

Other activities

  • Editorial Board member of the journal, Frontiers in Photonics.
  • Organiser of Photon 2022, IOP Conference
  • Conference Session Chair for Photon 2020, IOP Conference

Professional memberships

  • Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • American Physical Society (APS)


Selected publications

Chikkaraddy, R., Arul, R., Jakob, L. A., & Baumberg, J.J. (2022). Single-molecule mid-IR detection through vibrationally-assisted luminescence. arXiv, arXiv:2205.07792.

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.

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