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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory


Akshay is Professor of Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. He obtained BSc from St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, in 2006 and MSc from the University of Sheffield in 2007. He completed his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 2011, following which he held a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) at Corpus Christi College, before establishing his independent research group in 2015. He was awarded the Henry Moseley Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics for “exceptional early career contributions to experimental physics” and has also been awarded an EPSRC Early Career Fellowship and ERC grants.

He is the co-founder of Cambridge Photon Technology and Illumion.


Our vision is to catalyse a new era in the study of energy and quantum materials by elucidating the fundamental electronic, structural and transport dynamics of these materials with unprecedented spatial and temporal precision. We seek to provide fundamental insights into these materials and use these insights to develop strategies and device concepts that can bring radical new functionalities beyond current physical limits.


Key publications: 

A full list of papers can be found on our website -

Some recent key publications include:

  1. “Observation of an Ultrafast Exciton Transport Regime at Early Times in Quantum Dot Solids”, Zhang, Nature Materials, 2022, DOI: 10.1038/s41563-022-01204-6, Full Text.
  2. “Photosynthesis re-wired on the pico-second timescale”, Baikie et. al, Nature, 2022, (In Press) arXiv:2201.13370
  3. “Operando optical tracking of single-particle ion dynamics and phase transitions in battery electrodes”, Merryweather, Nature, 594, 522–528, 2021, Full Text.
  4. “Imaging the coherent propagation of collective modes in the excitonic insulator candidate Ta2NiSe5 at room temperature”, Bretscher,  Science Advances, 2021, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd6147, Full Text.
  5. “Highly efficient exciton transport via transient delocalization in films of poly(3-hexylthiophene) nanofibers prepared by seeded growth”, Sneyd, Science Advances, 2021, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abh4232, 2021, Full Text.
  6. "Lanthanide-doped inorganic nanoparticles turn molecular triplet excitons bright”, Han, Nature, 2020, DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2932-2, Full Text.
Professor of Physics

Contact Details

Maxwell Building,
Cavendish Laboratory
JJ Thomson Avenue
(0) 12233 747364