News


January 2016

Nataliia Stepina at Elsevier

Nataliia Stepina publishes new article in Materials Today describing her work experience at Elsevier


22nd December 2015 Carbon at Christmas winning image Congratulations to Ceren Zor who won the ‘Carbon at Christmas’ prize for her beautiful image: ‘Decorating the Christmas Tree: SEM of carbon-based hierarchical nano materials’. The artificial colour image was created by Ceren, a member of the Nanomaterials by Design Group led by Professor Nicole Grobert.


2nd December 2015 Entreprenurial designs Dominique Piche, a DPhil student working on Nanomaterials, has long had entreprenurial interests. Dominique is the co-founder and creative director of UPROSA a brand that aims to bring science into the consumer market with a range of fashion & tech accessories created with real scientific imagery. UPROSA's mission is to communicate scientific research with striking, visual products, while supporting scientific researchers by donating 15% of the profits back to the scientist who created the design.

http://uprosa.com/ http://www.eship.ox.ac.uk/dominique-piche-co-founder-uprosa http://www.ox.ac.uk/research/research-in-conversation/entrepreneurial-academics/dominique-piche-and-uprosa


17 November 2015

BIS visit to Begbroke and to Williams F1

A delegation from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills visited Begbroke to see how graphene researchers are working with UK companies. They spent the morning visiting Professor Grobert's Nanomaterials by Design research group at Begbroke and hearing about the challenges faced in commerialising research outputs. Then in the afternoon moved on to Williams Advanced Engineering in Grove for a workshop tour before continuing discussions about how government policy could help to remove barriers to industrial take-up.

Andrew Culley, Senior Policy Advisor for the BIS Innovation Directorate, said, "The company case studies provided both at Begbroke and Williams were helpful in providing practical illustrations of the great commercial potential of nano-materials and graphene. Whereas discussions about the difficulties of commercialising at scale within the UK gave us a useful over-view of this aspect of the graphene story".


21 October 2015 Professor Grobert on Newsnight feature about "Back to the Future" Prof Nicole Grobert has been interviewed on Newsnight for an item on "Back to the Future" whilst whizzing around a race track in a Delorean driven by Peter Snow. The interview broadcast on 20 Oct 2015 is currently on iPlayer and Nicole features after 39 minutes or on Youtube. Also see article on Oxford University science blog.


21 October 2015

Back to the Future: Oxford nanoscientist takes a trip through time

Stuart Gillespie 22 Oct 2015 (Blog about the Newsnight Interview) 'It's certainly one of the more unusual interviews I've given,' said Professor Nicole Grobert, fresh from stepping out of a 1981 DeLorean being driven around a Surrey airfield by legendary broadcaster Peter Snow.

It sounds bizarre, but there was a point to it: October 21, 2015 was the date to which Marty McFly and Doc Brown travelled in Back to the Future II, and the BBC's Newsnight programme was keen to find out if the film's vision of the future had become a reality....


8th October 2015 Chair of the Young Academy of Europe Congratulations to Professor Nicole Grobert who has been elected Chair of the Young Academy of Europe . The YAE is an international, non-governmental association of individual scientists and scholars who are experts and leaders in their respective fields, as recognized by their peers.


21st July 2015 Rapid epitaxy-free graphene synthesis on silicidated polycrystalline platinum A recent report in Nature Communications demonstrates that millimetre-sized crystals of high-quality graphene can be made in minutes instead of hours using a new scalable technique. In just 15 minutes the method can produce large graphene crystals around 2-3 millimetres in size that it would take up to 19 hours to produce using current chemical vapour deposition (CVD) techniques in which carbon in gas reacts with, for example, copper to form graphene. This invention adds to the growing patent portfolio of nanomaterials and their production technologies from Professor Nicole Grobert’s Nanomaterials by Design Group.

Nature Communications article Oxford University News article Nanowerk spotlight article Additional news article referring to this work appeared in: ChemistryViews, ElectronicsWeekly, GrapheneInfo, GrapheneInfo, NanoTechMag, NanoWerk, ScienceDaily, TheEngineer, UKSPA, ScienceNewsLine, Eurekalert, PhysOrg, SpaceDaily, GlobalNewsConnect, ChemistryViews


2nd July 2014 Fellowship in Materials for Energy Applications The Department congratulates Dr Rebecca Nicholls who has just started an EPSRC Fellowship. Rebecca won the 5-year EPSRC Fellowship to enable breakthroughs in energy materials using advanced microscopy and modelling.


6 May 2014

Duncan Johnstone wins Ironmongers' Prize

We are very pleased to announce that the winner of this year's Worshipful Company of Ironmongers Prize for Best MS Part II Talk is Duncan Johnstone for his talk ""Novel routes to manufacturing layered inorganic nanomaterials". Duncan will be presented with a medal and a check at a formal meeting of the Court of the Ironmongers' Company on Thursday 5 June 2014.


10 April 2014

Duncan Johnstone wins IOM3 Lecture Competition

Congratulations to Duncan Johnstone who won the IOM3 Young Persons' Lecture Competition 2014 final on Wednesday 9 April at the Armourers' Hall in London. His talk entitled "Layered inorganic nanomaterials - going beyond graphene" focused on layered metal chalcogenide nanomaterials, which can be conductors, semiconductors or even superconductors.


30th September 2013 World Economic Forum New Champions Professor Nicole Grobert from the Department of Materials at Oxford was one of 40 young scientists recognised at a meeting of the World Economic Forum on 11th September 2013 in Dalian, China. Professor Grobert was also part of a European Research Council delegation visiting China to foster relations with Chinese researchers.

Professor Grobert was also one of two speakers leading the panel debate "From research to economic success" at the Alpbach Technology Forum in Austria in August 2013.



News from the Alpbach Technology Forum

About the Alpbach Forum



From the Science Business Event at the ERC in Brussels http://vimeo.com/67043132



Routes towards defect-free graphene

01 Feb 13

A new way of growing graphene without the defects that weaken it and prevent electrons from flowing freely within it could open the way to large-scale manufacturing of graphene-based devices with applications in fields such as electronics, energy, and healthcare.

A team led by Oxford University scientists has overcome a key problem of growing graphene – a one atom-thick layer of carbon – when using an established technique called chemical vapour deposition, that the tiny flakes of graphene form with random orientations, leaving defects or 'seams' between flakes that grow together.

The discovery, reported in a paper published in ACS Nano, reveals how these graphene flakes, known as 'domains', can be lined up by manipulating the alignment of carbon atoms on a relatively cheap copper foil – the atomic structure of the copper surface acts as a 'guide' that controls the orientation of the carbon atoms growing on top of them.

A combination of control of this copper guide and the pressure applied during growth makes it possible to control the thickness of these domains, the geometry of their edges and the grain boundaries where they meet – 'seams' that act as obstacles to the smooth progress of electrons necessary to create efficient graphene-based electrical and electronic devices.

'Current methods of growing flakes of graphene often suffer from graphene domains not lining up,' said Professor Nicole Grobert of Oxford University's Department of Materials who led the work. 'Our discovery shows that it is possible to produce large sheets of graphene where these flakes, called 'domains', are well-aligned, which will create a neater, stronger, and more 'electron-friendly' material.'

In principle the size of the sheet of graphene that can be created is only limited by the size of the copper base sheet.

The Oxford-led team, which includes researchers from Forschungszentrum Juelich Germany, the University of Ioannina Greece, and Renishaw plc, has shown that it is also possible using the new technique to selectively grow bilayer domains of graphene – a double layer of closely packed carbon atoms – which are of particular interest for their unusual electrical properties.

'People have used copper as a base material before, but this is the first time anyone has shown that the many different types of copper surfaces can indeed strongly control the structure of graphene,' said Professor Grobert. 'It's an important step towards finding a way of manufacturing graphene in a controlled fashion at an industrial scale, something that is essential if we are to bridge the gap between fundamental research and building useful graphene-based technologies.'

A report of the research, entitled 'Controlling the Orientation, Edge Geometry, and Thickness of Chemical Vapor Deposition Graphene', is published online in the journal ACS Nano.

The team filed a UK patent application on the work in 2012 with the help of Isis Innovation, the University of Oxford’s technology transfer firm.

http://www.paneuropeannetworks.com/index.html (Link on cover page)

http://www.paneuropeannetworks.com/detail/news/method-developed-to-produce-defect-free-graphene.html

https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/materialsktn (Link on cover page)

https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/materialsktn/articles/-/blogs/method-developed-to-produce-defect-free-graphene

http://sciencebusiness.technewslit.com/?p=12779 (Link on cover page)

http://graphenetimes.com/ (Link on cover page)

http://www.sciencenewsline.com/summary/2013020122460027.html (Link on cover page)

http://hilgertmnetta9.typepad.com/blog/2013/02/routes-towards-defect-free-graphene.html

http://www.myscience.me.uk/ (Link on cover page)

http://www.myscience.me.uk/news/2013/routes_towards_defect_free_graphene-2013-oxford

http://eandt.theiet.org/news/2013/feb/graphene-technique.cfm

http://www.theengineer.co.uk/ (Link on cover page)

http://www.theengineer.co.uk/sectors/electronics/news/method-allows-growth-of-defect-free-graphene/1015420.article


ERC Proof of Concept Award

Professor Nicole Grobert receives ERC Proof of Concept Grant towards ‘Taking in-situ controlled manufacturing to market’. Key collaborators are Seyyed Shayan Meysami ((Marie Curie ESR) and Chim Chu (Isis Innovation).

‘The European Research Council (ERC) has announced the conclusion of its competition for Proof of Concept funding. Introduced last year, it allows researchers who are already ERC grant holders to bridge the gap between research and the earliest stage of an innovation. In this call, a total of 52 grants have now been awarded, of which the final 22 were announced on 14.02.2012. The first 30 grants were awarded in October 2011.

Worth up to €150,000 each, these 'top up' grants are designed to help ERC-funded 'blue sky' research maximise value. The funding can cover activities related to for instance intellectual property rights, investigation of commercial and business opportunities or technical validation.’


1st prize for the best poster at the European Ceramic Society Conference

Geoffrey Otieno wins the 1st prize for his poster at the European Ceramic Society Conference (ECerS XII) in Stockholm, Sweden.

Congratulations to Geoffrey Otieno who won the 1st prize for his work on "Fabrication and Micromechanical Testing of Aligned Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes/Glass Composites" in the category "Nanomaterials" at the European Ceramic Society Conference (ECerS XII) in Stockholm, Sweden. Thursday 23 June 2011


Jodie Melbourne wins Ironmongers' Prize

We are very pleased to announce that the winner of this year's Worshipful Company of Ironmongers Prize for Best MS Part II Talk is Jodie Melbourne for her talk "Novel Inorganic Nanomaterials". Jodie will be presented with a medal and a check for 250GBP at a formal meeting of the Court of the Ironmongers' Company in due course. May 2011


2011 Rolls Royce Prize (Scientific Conference category)

Congratulations to Geoffrey Otieno who was awarded the 2011 Rolls Royce Prize (Scientific Conference category) for his poster entitled "Aligned carbon nanotube/glass composites by sol-gel processing". Sunday 06 March 2011


1st June 2010 Front cover of Carbon A novel approach to carbon nanotube / glass composites with enhanced thermal and electrical properties Researchers at the Department of Materials developed a novel sol–gel based approach for producing aluminoborosilicate glass composites containing continuous, aligned carbon nanotubes. The paper to be published in July 2010 in Carbon by G. Otieno et al. (Carbon, Volume 48, Issue 8, July 2010, Pages 2212-2217) describes the production of aligned carbon nanotubes (ACNT) via aerosol chemical vapour deposition (CVD), followed by infiltration of the ACNT with aluminoborosilicate sol to form the CNT/glass composite. The advantages of this process are three fold: (1) aerosol CVD is an efficient method of producing clean, aligned arrays of CNTs, (2) sol–gel chemistry provides a simple route to infiltration of the ACNTs, and (3) carbon nanotube (CNT) agglomeration problems associated with CNT composites are circumvented. ACNTs with heights of up to 4.4 mm were grown with areas of 10 mm × 20 mm for composite fabrication. The composite showed extensive pullout of the CNTs on a fracture surface and improved thermal and electrical conductivities of 16 Wm−1 K−1 and 5–8 × 102 Sm−1 respectively compared with only 1.2 W m−1 K−1 and 10−13 S m−1 for the monolithic glass.


A novel approach to carbon nanotube / glass composites with enhanced thermal and electrical properties

Researchers at the Department of Materials developed a novel sol-gel based approach for producing aluminoborosilicate glass composites containing continuous, aligned carbon nanotubes. The paper to be published in July 2010 in Carbon by G. Otieno et al. (Carbon, Volume 48, Issue 8, July 2010, Pages 2212-2217) describes the production of aligned carbon nanotubes (ACNT) via aerosol chemical vapour deposition (CVD), followed by infiltration of the ACNT with aluminoborosilicate sol to form the CNT/glass composite. The advantages of this process are three fold: (1) aerosol CVD is an efficient method of producing clean, aligned arrays of CNTs, (2) sol-gel chemistry provides a simple route to infiltration of the ACNTs, and (3) carbon nanotube (CNT) agglomeration problems associated with CNT composites are circumvented. ACNTs with heights of up to 4.4 mm were grown with areas of 10 mm x 20 mm for composite fabrication. The composite showed extensive pullout of the CNTs on a fracture surface and improved thermal and electrical conductivities of 16 Wm-1 K-1 and 500-800 Sm-1 respectively compared with only 1.2 W m-1 K-1 and 10-13 S m-1 for the monolithic glass.


2009 June

Nicole Grobert awarded ERC Starting Grant

Dr Nicole Grobert, a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Faculty Member, has been awarded a European Research Council Starting Independent Researcher Grant. 'ERC Starting Grants aim to support up-and-coming research leaders working in pioneering frontier research in any field of science, engineering and scholarship.... The scheme targets promising researchers who have the proven potential of becoming independent research leaders.' ERC Starting Grants of up to 2 Million Euro are awarded for up to 5 years.

Nicole will use the award to expand her existing research team and for equipment to study the 'Dedicated growth of novel 1-dimensional materials for emerging nanotechnological applications'.


Michael Dowling wins Ironmongers' Prize

We are very pleased to announce that the winner of this year's Worshipful Company of Ironmongers Prize for Best MS Part II Talk is Michael Dowling for his talk "Identification of structural trends in carbon nanotubes with different N-doping". Michael will be presented with a medal and a check for 250GBP at a formal meeting of the Court of the Ironmongers' Company in due course. Thursday 01 May 2008


First of Top 25 Downloads of Materials Today

'Carbon nanotubes: becoming clean' published in Materials Today. The review 'Carbon nanotubes: becoming clean' by Dr Nicole Grobert has been the among the first three Top 25 dowloads of the Materials Today Magazine since it was published in January 2007. Wednesday 27 February 2008


Nicole Grobert has been elected Vice-Chairman of the British Carbon Group

The British Carbon Group is a special interest group of the Royal Society of Chemistry , the Institute of Physics and the Society of Chemical Industry devoted to the advancement of carbon science. It is also a member of the European Carbon Association.

The Carbon Group was originally formed in 1965 as a Subject Group of The Institute of Physics. In 1977 the Group became the Joint Carbon Group of The Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of Chemistry. Since January 1994 the Group has been joined with the Industrial Carbon and Graphite Group of The Society of Chemical Industry and is known as The British Carbon Group. In addition to physicists and chemists, the Group welcomes professional members from other disciplines with an interest in carbon and is attracting interest from scientists working in Europe and the developing countries. See also http://www.britishcarbon.co.uk/

Monday 25 February 2008


Dr Nicole Grobert Dr Nicole Grobert Oxford Materials scientist nominated Future Leader 2008 Dr Nicole Grobert, a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Faculty Member, has been invited as one of ten outstanding young scientists to participate at the 2008 Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum Future Leaders Programme.

The STS forum invited more than 30 leading research institutions from around the world to submit their nomination. "The selected scientists are 40 years of age or younger and cover a wide spectrum of applied scientific research. Every one of them is an outstanding, outspoken and visionary young scientist whose research plays an important role in societal development. The selection was based on the nominees' scientific achievements, their works' impact on global well-being, the candidates' leadership, and their profiles' overall suitability for the STS initiative."

Nicole was selected as one of two 2008 STS forum Future Leader representing Europe, with others based at leading institutions in Australia, Japan, Lesotho, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and the United States of America.