Alberto António Caria Canelas Pais

Full Professor


+351 239854466


The Soft Matter Group (for more detailed information refer to this site) has its global objective the detailed study of structure and dynamics of chemical systems on length scales from the molecular level up to macroscopic dimensions, and on timescales from sub picoseconds up to seconds. The group is divided in two main areas that develop their activities in strong cooperation.



Colloids & Macromolecules

Coordinator:Alberto Canelas Pais (pais@qui.uc.pt); Jorge M.C. Marques (qtmarque@ci.uc.pt) ()

Multicomponent systems are being studied both experimentally and with various computational and modeling methods. Examples include characterization of host-guest interactions for drug delivery and pollutant removal applications, and the interaction of new surfactant molecules with biomembranes, by modulating the respective function. Dicationic alkylammonium bromide surfactants are chosen to study the effect of spacer and tail length of gemini amphiphiles, while amino acid-based surfactants are used to assess the permeation enhancing effect of new biocompatible molecules. Formulations based on novel co-encapsulating lipid nano-particles (both SLN and NLC) have been developed and subjected to both in-vitro and in-vivo tests. DNA gel release properties are being investigated for development of new biomaterials based on chitin. Monte Carlo simulations are being used to obtain an understanding the topology of polyplexes. Additionally, this subject area has focused on general data analysis problems, including the scientometric characterization of research institutions, and clinical and epidemiological studies.

In the Computational Molecular Sciences Laboratory, we are strongly dedicated to computational chemistry using different approaches, with the main purpose of relating theory and experiment. We are also committed with the development of new computational tools for teaching and research purposes.


Photochemistry & Macromolecules

Coordinator:Sérgio Seixas de Melo (sseixas@ci.uc.pt); Artur J.M. Valente (avalente@ci.uc.pt); Filipe Antunes (filipe.antunes@ci.uc.pt) ()

The Photochemistry Laboratory possesses extensive expertise in employing both steady-state and time-resolved techniques across various photophysical domains. These domains encompass polymer dynamics, luminescent conjugated polymers, proton- and electron-transfer reactions, Chemistry and Art, as well as redox flow batteries. We are specialized in the investigation of novel photochemically active compounds and fluorophores. Our research utilizes photophysics tools to address complex challenges in chemistry, biology, environmental chemistry, and materials science. With expertise in steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence, as well as transient absorption spectroscopy, our group is actively engaged in several research projects.

The Macromolecules and Transport Phenomena Laboratory conducts fundamental and applied research in the field of the mass transport properties, of electrolytes and non-electrolytes, of low and high molecular weight, compounds, and in supercritical fluids, supramolecular chemistry and on the development of new soft materials for drug delivery and environmental remediation.

In the Colling Laboratory at the University of Coimbra, our primary focus revolves around unraveling the intricate behaviors of surfactants and polymers. Our team is driven by the quest to pioneer innovative solutions and over the years, Colling Laboraty has cultivated a rich history of accomplishment, successfully undertaking more than 50 projects in collaboration with both national and international enterprises. Our areas of expertise encompass a wide spectrum, including polymer-surfactant interactions, synthesis of surfactants, cellulose dissolution, biopolymers, biocomposites, rheology of physical gels, smart copolymers, as well as the synthesis and manipulation of both soft and hard nanoparticles. We are also adept at the stabilization of suspensions, the development of colloidal sensors, nanoencapsulation techniques, and the application of polymeric coatings. With a profound commitment to the field of colloid chemistry, our research encompasses a broad interaction with external companies.