Manuel Melle-Franco

Principal Researcher


Manuel Melle-Franco leads the Advanced Modelling Lab , a multidisciplinary group focussing on the understanding of relevant problems in a broad area including chemistry, physics, molecular biology, and materials science with a current output of 130 publications with an added impact factor > 1000

Manuel's education and career are highly multidisciplinary. He has a  degree in Physical-Chemistry from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain), followed by an M.Sc. in Materials Chemistry from the University of Kent (UK) and a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics (2001) from the University of Kent (UK) with Alan Chadwick, with a year abroad in the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy) with Gianfranco Pacchioni. 

After that, he joined the group of Francesco Zerbetto at the University of Bologna (Italy) for 8 years. Later, he moved to Portugal, where he worked at the University of Porto and the University of Minho. Manuel has been working in CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials since 2016. 

Manuel’s research has been reported in a variety of high-visibility journals, most notably: Nature, Chem, J. Am. Chem. Soc.* (x11); Angewandte Chemie* (x10); Nano Letters* (x3); ACS Nano (x2); Nature Communications(x2)*; Small; Small Methods (x2); BioMaterials; Journal of Materials Chemistry A; PNAS; Chemical Science* (x3); Carbon* (x6); ACS Appl Mater Interfaces (x5); Nano Research; NanoScale (x4); Chem. Comm.* (x6); Organic Letters* (x7); Chem. Eur. J.* (x7); Environmental Microbiology; J. Chem. Theo. Comp. (x2); Journal of Materials Chemistry C (x2) among others, in addition to Nature Nanotechnology* (x2) review N&V pieces (*: corresponding author). 

Manuel's works have been highlighted in general media, such as radio and newspapers, and in several specialized outlets like Nature Reviews Chemistry, Chemistry World (x8), Physics World (x3), Chemistry Views (x4), SynFacts (x2), and Computational Chemistry Highlights.

Selected Publications up to 2018 (click to go the article)

  1. Iglesias, Daniel, Manuel Melle-Franco, Marina Kurbasic, Michele Melchionna, Michela Abrami, Mario Grassi, Maurizio Prato, and Silvia Marchesan. “Oxidized Nanocarbons-Tripeptide Supramolecular Hydrogels: Shape Matters!” ACS Nano, May 22, 2018. doi:10.1021/acsnano.8b01182. IF=13.94, Q1, Comp-Exp.
  2. Cortizo-Lacalle, Diego, Juan Pedro Mora-Fuentes, Karol Strutynski, Akinori Saeki, Manuel Melle-Franco*, and Aurelio Mateo-Alonso. “Monodisperse N-Doped Graphene Nanoribbons Reaching 7.7 Nm in Length.” Angewandte Chemie International Edition, In-press. doi:10.1002/anie.201710467. IF=11.7. 
  3. Carini, Marco, Marta P. Ruiz, Imanol Usabiaga, José A. Fernández, Emilio J. Cocinero, Manuel Melle-Franco, Ismael Diez-Perez, and Aurelio Mateo-Alonso. “High Conductance Values in π-Folded Molecular Junctions.” Nature Communications 8 (May 18, 2017): 15195. doi:10.1038/ncomms15195. IF=11.3. 
  4. Marco, A. Belen, Diego Cortizo-Lacalle, Iñigo Perez-Miqueo, Giovanni Valenti, Alessandro Boni, Jan Plas, Karol Strutyński, et al. “Twisted Aromatic Frameworks: Readily Exfoliable and Solution-Processable Two-Dimensional Conjugated Microporous Polymers.” Angewandte Chemie International Edition, January 1, 2017, in-press. doi:10.1002/anie.201700271. IF=11.7.
  5. Melle-Franco, Manuel. “Graphene Fragments: When 1 + 1 Is Odd.” Nature Nanotechnology advance online publication (February 13, 2017). doi:10.1038/nnano.2017.9. IF=35.3.
  6. Melle-Franco, M., “Uthrene, a Radically New Molecule?” Chemical Communications 51, no. 25 (2015): 5387–90, doi:10.1039/C5CC01276G. IF=6.3.
  7. Höfinger, S., Melle-Franco, M., Gallo, T., Cantelli, A., Calvaresi, M., Gomes, J.A.N.F., Zerbetto, F., “A Computational Analysis of the Insertion of Carbon Nanotubes into Cellular Membranes” Biomaterials 32, no. 29 (October 2011): 7079–85, doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2011.06.011. IF=8.56.



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Fullerenes at High Pressures

Ongoing Supervisions


Alternative SuperConducting Superlattice (SuperSuper)

Local CoordinatorFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Moiré materials have emerged as a two-dimensional platform with a broad range of states between superconducting and insulating. Despite the remarkable scientific progress, an important bottleneck is the lack of a general and facile approach for the production of moiré materials. SuperSuper is targeted at developing a disruptive straightforward b...

Engineered Conductive Proteins for Bioelectronics (E-PROT)

Local CoordinatorEuropean Comission
Proteins demonstrate exceptional structural and electrical conduction properties for designing functional materials. The goal of the EU-funded e-Prot project is to rationally design efficient conductive protein systems and produce protein-based conductive structures and materials. This breakthrough relies on a multidisciplinary scientific approa...

FantastiCOF: Fabricating and Implementing Exotic Moiré Materials from Covalent Organic Frameworks (FantastiCOF)

Local CoordinatorEuropean Comission
Superconducting devices based on Josephson Junctions (JJs) are among the most versatile devices in superconducting electronics. Yet challenges remain because conventional JJs are created using a variety of materials that have been identified as a source of noise, dissipation and dephasing, and also, that raise compatibility problems during the f...

Redox-active Metal-Organic Frameworks as Electrode Materials for Lithium-Ion Batteries (RedoxMOFs)

PartnerFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
One of the main concerns of modern society is reducing its dependence on fossil fuels. Due to their low cost and low environmental impact, electrical energy storage devices are among the most promising alternatives to conventional fossil fuels, as the electricity generated from renewable sources may be efficiently stored. In particular, lithium-...

Supported Covalent Organic Frameworks for the Monitoring of Pharmaceutical Pollutants (Charm)

Local CoordinatorFundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia


Covalent organic frameworks as catalyst support: A case study of thermal, hydrothermal, and mechanical pressure stability of β-ketoenamine-linked TpBD-Me2

Liliana P.L. Gonçalves, Javier Garcia Ben, Karol Strutyński, Laura Rodriguez-Lorenzo, Joana Araújo, A.Sofia G.G. Santos, O. Salomé G.P. Soares, M. Fernando R. Pereira, Yury V. Kolen'ko, Manuel Melle-Franco, Laura M. Salonen
2024, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials.

Unveiling the Role of Capping Groups in Naphthalene N-Capped Dehydrodipeptide Hydrogels

Vilaça, H; Carvalho, A; Castro, T; Castanheira, EMS; Hilliou, L; Hamley, I; Melle-Franco, M; Ferreira, PMT; Martins, JA
2023, GELS, 9, 6.

One-step synthesis of magnetic covalent organic framework composite for the adsorption of marine toxin okadaic acid

Romero, V; Fernandes, SPS; Gonçalves, LPL; Oliveira, O; Meledina, M; Strutynski, K; Melle-Franco, M; Kolen'ko, YV; Espiña, B; Salonen, LM
2023, CRYSTENGCOMM, 25, 16, 2456-2462.

Non-Canonical Amino Acids as Building Blocks for Peptidomimetics: Structure, Function, and Applications

Castro, TG; Melle-Franco, M; Sousa, CEA; Cavaco-Paulo, A; Marcos, JC
2023, BIOMOLECULES, 13, 6.

Sequential On-Surface Cyclodehydrogenation in a Nonplanar Nanographene

Zuzak, R; Quiroga, S; Engelund, M; Pérez, D; Peña, D; Godlewski, S; Melle-Franco, M

Modulating Strain in Twisted Pyrene-Fused Azaacenes

Mateos-Martín, J; Dhbaibi, K; Melle-Franco, M; Mateo-Alonso, A

Direct C-H Arylation of Dithiophene-Tetrathiafulvalene: Tuneable Electronic Properties and 2D Self-Assembled Molecular Networks at the Solid/Liquid Interface

Ribeiro, C; Valente, G; Espinosa, M; Silva, RAL; Belo, D; Gil-Guerrero, S; Arisnabarreta, N; Mali, KS; De Feyter, S; Melle-Franco, M; Souto, M

Hydrogen-Terminated Two-Dimensional Germanane/Silicane Alloys as Self-Powered Photodetectors and Sensors

Roy, PK; Hartman, T; Sturala, J; Luxa, J; Melle-Franco, M; Sofer, Z
2023, ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 15, 21, 25693-25703.

2D Layered Bimetallic Phosphorous Trisulfides MIMIIIP2S6 (MI = Cu, Ag; MIII = Sc, V, Cr, In) for Electrochemical Energy Conversion

Oliveira, FM; Pastika, J; Plutnarová, I; Mazánek, V; Strutynski, K; Melle-Franco, M; Sofer, Z; Gusmao, R
2023, SMALL METHODS, 7, 2.

C60+C60 molecular bonding revisited and expanded

Laranjeira, J; Strutynski, K; Marques, L; Martínez-Núñez, E; Melle-Franco, M
2023, CARBON, 213.

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