Vitaliy Babenko

Vitaliy Babenko

DTA Studentship

Short biography

I undertook my undergraduate studies in the UK, at Oxford University, where I obtained my MPhys degree. For my fourth year research project, I was working in the biophysics area on digital holographic microscopy for 3D tracking of bacterial swimming, for which I was awarded a prize for the best research project.

Research summary

My project is focused on developing methods and equipment for the 2D-nanomaterials production for a variety of applications. Investigating the parameter space of chemical vapour deposition (CVD) synthesis of graphene on platinum was my first investigation, where I was able to map the parameters and achieve large area monolayer graphene. Later I developed advanced substrate processing techniques that allowed few-millimetre, single crystal, monolayer graphene to be grown in 15 minutes [1]. This is significantly faster than the few-hours syntheses currently reported in the literature, allowing savings in costs for consumable materials, energy and time. The technology arising from this research has been patented by ISIS Innovation.

I identified commercially feasible ways of producing 3D graphene foams and graphene composites that are suitable for energy storage and other applications. A patent has been filed by ISIS Innovation related to this technology.

During my DPhil project I gained experience in synthesis of other 2D-nanomaterials: hexagonal boron nitride and transition metal di-chalcogenides. The former is a very good insulator and is an essential component in heterostructure applications, while the latter is a semiconductor with a technologically useful band gap. Additionally, I built and optimised custom equipment useful for the synthesis of these 2D-nanomaterials: automation, upscaling and novel control methods have been achieved for all of the three classes of materials.

I also worked with and co-supervised five students on summer or masters projects.


[1] Babenko, V. et al. Rapid epitaxy-free graphene synthesis on silicidated polycrystalline platinum. Nat Commun (2015).

[2] Britton, J. et al. A Graphene Surface Force Balance. Langmuir 30, 11485-11492 (2014)