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.



CS Cover

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


Three-dimensional C-60 polymers with ordered binary-alloy-type structures

Laranjeira, J; Marques, L; Fortunato, NM; Melle-Franco, M; Strutynski, K; Barroso, M
2018, CARBON, 137, 511-518.

Water Dispersible Few-Layer Graphene Stabilized by a Novel Pyrene Derivative at Micromolar Concentration

Cunha, E; Proenca, MF; Pereira, MG; Fernandes, MJ; Young, RJ; Strutynski, K; Melle-Franco, M; Gonzalez-Debs, M; Lopes, PE; Paiva, MD
2018, NANOMATERIALS, 8, 9.

TiO2/graphene and TiO2/graphene oxide nanocomposites for photocatalytic applications: A computer modeling and experimental study

Martins, PM; Ferreira, CG; Silva, AR; Magalhaes, B; Alves, MM; Pereira, L; Marques, PAAP; Melle-Franco, M; Lanceros-Mendez, S

A thiadiazole-capped nanoribbon with 18 linearly fused rings

Cortizo-Lacalle, D; Gozalvez, C; Franco, MM; Mateo-Alonso, A
2018, NANOSCALE, 10, 24, 11297-11301.

Oxidized Nanocarbons-Tripeptide Supramolecular Hydrogels: Shape Matters!

Iglesias, D; Melle-Franco, M; Kurbasic, M; Melchionna, M; Abrami, M; Grassi, M; Prato, M; Marchesan, S
2018, ACS NANO, 12, 6, 5530-5538.

High conductance values in pi-folded molecular junctions

Carini, M; Ruiz, MP; Usabiaga, I; Fernandez, JA; Cocinero, EJ; Melle-Franco, M; Diez-Perez, I; Mateo-Alonso, A

Twisted Aromatic Frameworks: Readily Exfoliable and Solution-Processable Two-Dimensional Conjugated Microporous Polymers

Marco, AB; Cortizo-Lacalle, D; Perez-Miqueo, I; Valenti, G; Boni, A; Plas, J; Strutynski, K; De Feyter, S; Paolucci, F; Montes, M; Khlobystov, AN; Melle-Franco, M; Mateo-Alonso, A

Permeation of skin with (C-60) fullerene dispersions

Martins, M; Azoia, NG; Melle-Franco, M; Ribeiro, A; Cavaco-Paulo, A
2017, ENGINEERING IN LIFE SCIENCES, 17, 7, 732-738.
ISBN: 1618-2863

Carbon nanotubes accelerate methane production in pure cultures of methanogens and in a syntrophic coculture

Salvador, AF; Martins, G; Melle-Franco, M; Serpa, R; Stams, AJM; Cavaleiro, AJ; Pereira, MA; Alves, MM
2017, ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, 19, 7, 2727-2739.
ISBN: 1462-2920

Pyrene-fused bisphenazinothiadiazoles with red to NIR electroluminescence dagger

Cortizo-Lacalle, D; Pertegas, A; Melle-Franco, M; Bolink, HJ; Mateo-Alonso, A

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