Djen’s paper published online!

Djen’s paper appeared online today on the Advanced Materials Technologies website!

A major challenge for soft electroactive devices such as dielectric elastomers is the fabrication of thin, precisely patterned, stretchable conductors. In this work, laser‐scribed graphene oxide is used to fabricate intricate, stretchable electrodes for dielectric elastomer actuators.

The method is simple, low‐cost, and green (free of organic solvents) and produces arbitrary geometries with 0.1 mm resolution.


And now Ben’s paper – accepted and published online!

It has been a great week for publications! Ben’s paper was recently accepted, and just appeared earlier today on the MSDE (Molecular Systems Design & Engineering) website! This study, entitled “Tipping the polaron–bipolaron balance: concentration and spin effects in doped oligo(aniline)s observed by UV-vis-NIR and TD DFT” is an invited contribution to the special themed collection “Soft Materials Nanoarchitectonics”.

We describe a robust computational protocol for modelling the molecular geometries, electronic structures and absorption spectra of oligomers of the widely-used and versatile conducting polymer, poly(aniline). By comparing experimental UV-vis-NIR and EPR spectra with TD-DFT simulations, we discovered it is possible to switch reversibly between diamagnetic and paramagnetic forms (bipolaronic and polaronic states) of oligo(aniline)s in solution simply by adjusting dopant concentrations – a finding which could reinvigorate research into conduction mechanisms in poly(aniline) and related materials, as well as allowing control of material properties and functionality.

Well done Ben, Shao, Steph, and collaborators Dave, Patrice and Natalie!

University of Rennes1, France

Charl was invited, as visiting professor, to spend a few days at the University of Rennes1 by former postdoc Dr Franck Camerel. Franck, who is in the MaCSE (Matière Condensée et Systèmes Electroactifs) group,

Several days of excellent and stimulating scientific discussions were closely accompanied by good food, and the pleasure of seeing old friends again! Thank you Franck!

Visitors from Jilin

It was great to be able to host (with fantastic support from the BCFN) 5 staff and 10 graduate students from the State Key Laboratory for Supramolecular Structure and Materials, College of Chemistry, Jilin University (Changchun, China)! The visit, to discuss new joint undergraduate programmes, and to further explore research interactions, was a fantastic success!

There was also a poster session, where Esther and Christian presented some of their latest results! More photos to follow!

Great to see old friends again (including Prof Kun Liu and Dayang Wang), but also to make many new friends and connections!

Back in Beijing!

Charl joined an international panel of experts to help with the external evaluation of the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at BIT (Beijing Institute of Technology). The evaluation ended with a series of scientific seminars by some panel members, including Prof. Donglin Jiang (now at NUS, Singapore), and Charl!

Here Donglin and Charl are in discussion after Donglin’s impressive talk!


CSC/UoB Joint Scholarship call announced!

The China Scholarship Council and the University of Bristol has announced the new round of their joint scholarship scheme – this year with 60 4-year fully funded PhD studentships available!

The scheme will formally open for applications on the 3rd of October, with a formal submission deadline of 18 January 2019, for a September 2019 start. This is a fantastic opportunity to apply to join the Faul Research Group – if you are interested to explore this scheme then you are encouraged to please contact Prof. Faul as soon as possible.

Please note that having both a good academic record (minimum of two publications) as well as the required English qualifications (see the page here for full details) is crucial for success in this highly competitive scheme.