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Photo of Prof Mikhail (Misha) Portnoi

Prof Mikhail (Misha) Portnoi

Associate Professor


Telephone: 01392 724154

Extension: (Streatham) 4154

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I am a theoretical physicist with a broad range of research interests spanning from exactly-solvable problems in quantum and statistical mechanics and anyon excitons in the fractional quantum Hall effect regime to THz applications of carbon-based nanostructures and modelling white light-emitting diodes. My most recent work is related to zero-energy states in graphene, excitons in narrow-gap carbon nanotubes and optical properties of two-dimensional materials with tilted Dirac conesI

Pleasa, contact me directly at m.e.portnoi(at)  if you are interested in PhD study under my supervision. A choice of projects in the theory of low-dimensional condensed matter systems is available.

Further details of my research can be found here.

Education and Employment

Visiting positions

  • 2004: Visiting Scientist, Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex System, Dresden, Germany      
  • 2005 - 2006: Full Professor and Group Head, International International Center for Condensed Matter Physics, University of Brasília (ICCMP-UnB), Brazil (on sabbatical leave from Exeter)
  • 2007 - 2009: Visiting Professor, ICCMP-UnB, Brazil (three visits)
  • 2010 - 2014, 2016, 2019: Visiting Professor, International Institute of Physics, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (IIP-UFRN), Natal, Brazil (seven visits)
  • 2018 - 2020: Research Professor, ITMO University, Russia
  • 2019: Visiting Professor, Westlake University, Hangzhou, China

Funded Research Projects

  • EPSRC grant "Electric and optical manipulation of 2D excitons for room temperature polariton blockade and valley qubits” (Funder Ref. EP/Y021339/1), 2023-2026 [CI] (£1,122,520 for Exeter)

  • EU H2020 RISE Project “Dirac Semimetals-based Terahertz Components” (DiSeTCom) H2020-MSCA-RISE-823728, 11/10/2021-31/10/2024 [Exeter PI] (€78,200 for Exeter)

  • Nato Science for Peace and Security Project “Constructing Novel Non-Classical States of Electromagnetic Field for Far-Field Sensing, RADAR and LIDAR Applications”, NATO SPS G5860, 01/07/2021-30/06/2023, [Exeter PI] (€66,800 for Exeter)

  • EU H2020 RISE Project "Terahertz Antennas with Self-Amplified Spontaneous Emission" (TERASSE) H2020-MSCA-RISE-823878, 1/6/2019-31/12/2024  [Exeter PI] (€193,200 for Exeter)

  • EU H2020 RISE Project “Collective Excitations in Advanced Nanostructures” (CoExAN) H2020-MSCA-RISE-644076,1/10/ 2015-30/9/2019 [Exeter PI] €1,003,500 (€225,000 for Exeter)

  • EU FP7 IRSES Project "Carbon-nanotube-based terahertz-to-optics rectenna" (CANTOR), FP7-PEOPLE-IRSES-612285, 1/1/2014 - 31/12/2017 [Coordinator], €91,200

  • EU FP7 IRSES Project "Interaction phenomena in novel materials" (InterNoM), FP7-PEOPLE-IRSES-612624, 1/10/2013 - 30/9/2017 [Exeter PI], €114,000 (€38,000 for Exeter)

  • EU FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network "Novel Type of Terahertz Devices" (NOTEDEV), FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-607521, 1/10/2013 - 30/9/2017 [Exeter PI], €3,880,583 (€572,313 for Exeter)

  • EU FP7 IRSES Project "Quantum optics of carbon-based nanostructures" (QOCaN), FP7-PEOPLE-IRSES-316432, 1/1/2013 - 31/12/2016 [Coordinator], €96,000

  • EU FP7 IRSES Project "Spin-related phenomena in mesoscopic transport" (SPINMET), FP7-PEOPLE-IRSES-246784, 1/6/2010 - 31/5/2014 [Exeter PI], €396,000 (€28,800 for Exeter)

  • EU FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network "Spin effects for quantum optoelectronics" (Spin-Optronics), FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-237252, 1/10/2009 - 30/9/2013 [Exeter PI], €3,280,068 (€224,738 for Exeter)

  • EU FP7 IRSES Project "Route to Bose-Einstein condensation at room temperature" (ROBOCON), FP7-PEOPLE-IRSES-230832, 1/1/2009 - 31/12/2012 [Exeter PI], €459,000 (€93,600 for Exeter)

  • EU FP7 IRSES Project "Terahertz applications of carbon-based nanostructures" (TerACaN), FP7-PEOPLE-IRSES-230778, 1/1/2009 - 31/12/2012 [Coordinator],  €86,400

  • International Travel Grant - Travel for Collaboration, Incoming Visit of Prof. O.V. Kibis, Royal Society TG100131, 1/10/2010 - 23/12/2010 [PI], £4,000

  • "Carbon nanotubes as a basis for optoelectronic devices in the terahertz range", Joint Project, Royal Society JP071576, 1/5/2007 – 30/4/2009 [PI], £12,000

  • "Electromagnetics of nanostructures", INTAS 05-96-1076, 2006-2008 [Exeter PI], €60,000 (€7,500 for Exeter)

  • "A study of the anomalous electronic and optical properties of chiral carbon nanotubes", Joint Project, Royal Society Ref: 15333, 1/6/2003-31/08/2005 [PI], £10,000

  • "On the theory of electron-phonon interaction in the quantum Hall regime", EPSRC GR/R20311/01, 1/2/2001 – 31/1/2003 [PI], £63,509

  • Royal Society Conference Grants: CG0872132, 2008/R2, £1,500; CG071936, 2007/R1, £1,400; CG062796, 2006/R3, £1,280; CG052382, 2005/R2, £700; CG041672, 2004/R1, £1,400;  CG031198, 2003/R3, £960

Invited Presentations

International Conferences

Seminars and Colloquia

  • 2020: Cardiff University 
  • 2019: Fudan University, Shanghai, China
  • 2019: Westlake University, Hangzhou, China
  • 2018: University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), Hefei, China
  • 2017: Columbia University, New York, USA
  • 2017: Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield UK
  • 2016: Research Institute for Nuclear Problems of Belarusian State University, Minsk, Belarus
  • 2015: V.E. Lashkaryov Institute of Semiconductor Physics, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 2014: National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University,Tallahassee, Florida, USA
  • 2013: Institut Néel / CNRS & Nanosciences Foundation, Grenoble, France
  • 2012: University of Regensburg, Germany
  • 2011: Cambridge University (CAPE-CIKC Advanced Technology Lecture),
  • 2010: University College London (Mathematics)
  • 2008: Strathclyde University, Glasgow
  • 2007: University of Bath
  • 2007: University of Montpellier, France
  • 2007: Southampton University
  • 2007: Sheffield Hallam University
  • 2006: University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil
  • 2006: University of California, San Diego (UCSD), USA
  • 2005: University of Cardiff
  • 2004: University of Utah, USA
  • 2003: Birmingham University
  • 2002: University of Warwick
  • 2001: Cambridge University, Cavendish Laboratory (TCM Seminar)
  • 2000: Loughborough University
  • 1999: EMCORE Corporation, Somerset, NJ, USA
  • 1999: Advanced Studies Institute, Princeton, USA
  • 1997: Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford University
  • 1996: King’s College London
  • 1996: University of Sheffield
  • 1992: AT&T Bell Labs, Murray Hill, USA
  • 1992: TU Munich, Germany
  • 1992: University of Kassel, Germany
  • Several seminar and colloquium talks at the Ioffe Institute, University of Utah, Heriot-Watt University, University of Exeter, ICCMP-University of Brasilia, International Institute of Physics (IIP-UFRN) – Natal, Brazil

Contributions to the Community

  • Associate Editor, SPIE Journal of Nanophotonics, July 2009 - present
  • Program Committee Chairman of TERAMETANANO-5 Conference, Natal, Brazil, 2022

  • Co-Director, International Workshop ‘Weyl Fermions in Condensed Matter Physics’, International Institute of Physics, Natal, Brazil, 2019

  • Program Committee Chairman, International School on Nanophotonics, Photovoltaics and Metamaterials (ISNP 2019), Varadero, Cuba, 2019

  • Member of the Program Committee of TERAMETANANO-2019 Conference, Lecce, Italy, 2019

  • Program Committee Chairman of the International Workshop on Quantum Light in Nanostructures (QLIN 2018), Acquafredda di Maratea, Italy, 2018

  • Member of the International Program Committee of the 34th International Conference of the Physics of Semiconductors (ICPS-2018), Montpellier, France, 2018 

  • Member of the Programme Committee of the PLMCN-19 Conference, Chengdu, Ghina, 2018

  • Member of the Programme Committee of the PLMCN-18 Conference, Würzburg, Germany, 2017

  • Member of the Program Committee of the TERAMETANANO-2017 Conference, Venice, Italy, 2017

  • Member of the Program Committee of the TERAMETANANO-2016 Conference, Cartagena, Colombia, 2016

  • Programme Committee Chairman of the 6th International School on Nanophotonics and Photovoltaics, Cefalu, Sicily, 2015  

  • Member of the Programme Committee of IMMEA2015 Conference, Marrakesh, Morocco, 2015

  • Member of the Programme Committee of the International Conference on Spin-Optronics, Toulouse, France, 2013

  • Member of the Programme Committee of the 2nd International School on Spin-Optronics, St Petersburg, Russia, 2012

  • Co-chairman of the Research Workshop "Advances in Physics and Applications of Low-Dimensional Systems", International Centre for Condensed Matter Physics (ICCMP-UnB), Brasilia, Brazil, 2007

  • Member of the Programme Committee of PLMCN-7 Conference, Havana, Cuba, 2007

  • Member of the Programme Committee of the Nanomodeling II Conference at the 2006 SPIE Optics and Photonics Annual Meeting, San Diego, USA, 2006

  • Co-chairman of the Seminar and Workshop ‘Cooperative Phenomena in Optics and Transport in Nanostructures’ at the Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, 2004

  • Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College, 2003 - present

  • Reviewer for funding bodies including EPSRC, Leverhulme Trust, Royal Society, European Research Council, INTAS (2003-2006), Russian Federation Government Mega Grants Program (2010-2013), DOE USA, NSERC Canada and Czech Science Foundation

  • Regular referee for  APS, AIP, ACS, EPS, IOP, SPIE, Elsevier, Taylor & Francis and Springer journals

  • External examiner for the award of PhD degrees at Cambridge University, Durham University and Loughborough University.


  • American Physical Society (APS)
  • Mediterranean Institute of Fundamental Physics (MIFP)

Prizes, Honorary Degrees and Positions

  • Doctor Honoris Causa, Mediterranean Institute of Fundamental Physics (MIFP), 2015
  • Honorary Visiting Professor, Novosibirsk State Technical University, since 2007
  • Prize for the Best Young Scientist's Research, A.F.Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute, 1991
  • Prize of the Research Council of the A.F.Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute, 1991

Current Teaching

  • PHY3062 Methods of Theoretical Physics
  • PHY3064 Nanostructure and Graphene Science