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Royal Society Fellowships for graphene researchers

19 Sep 2014

Prestigious honour for outstanding scientists

Two University graphene and 2D materials scientists have been awarded Royal Society Research Fellowships.

Dr Rahul Nair and Dr Roman Gorbachev have both been selected alongside 43 other UK academics and will take up their positions next month.

The University Research Fellowship scheme aims to provide outstanding scientists, who have the potential to become leaders in their chosen fields, with the opportunity to build an independent research career. The scheme is extremely competitive and Fellows are expected to be strong candidates for permanent posts in universities at the end of their fellowships.

Dr Nair leads research into graphene oxide membranes, thin layers that act as highly-effective barriers. One potential application could be providing safe drinking water by filtering clean water from dirty water in real time.

The membranes have equally strong barrier protection properties – effectively meaning they can be painted on to surfaces and act as a permanent barrier to corrosion. Dr Nair is already working with a considerable number of commercial partners to create industrial applications.

Dr Gorbachev works with graphene and related 2D materials, combining the one-atom material with others to create multi-layered stacks, called heterostructures.

These stacks can be created to have specific properties – allowing for designer materials tailored to the specifications of individual companies or researchers.

Research the 45 newly-appointed Royal Society Fellows are working on includes a wide variety of projects including discovering the origin of fermion masses at the LHC, exploring new science and technology in novel layered materials, and detecting electrostatic fields in bees.