Lockdown update

It has been a while since we closed our labs down, and all of us went into lockdown! We are grateful that everyone in the group (and their families) are safe and well.

Zoom (and bluejeans and skype and WeChat!) has become our lifeblood for group meetings, coffee catch-ups, recipe exchanges, small-group meetings, writing papers, working together, exchanging very lame jokes and much more!

Royal Fort Gardens – Taken on the morning after the lab was shut down!

Keep well, and stay safe!

Final year project presentations!

We enjoyed an exciting day of science earlier this week when all of our Final Year MSci Undergraduate students presented the results from their efforts of the past 5 months!

It was a great opportunity to learn about their research, but also to celebrate their success – EJ was one of the prize winners! Well done to all – fantastic job!

And, in true Faul Research Group style, we ended the day of science with a group meal!!

Luke’s paper appeared online!

A paper on switchable azobenzene-based liquid crystals by Luke, who visited in July 2019, and supervised by collaborator Rico Tabor (and co-supervised by Charl!), just appeared online in the RSC’s PCCP.

The study, entitled “Structural relationships for the design of responsive azobenzene-based lyotropic liquid crystals” explored light-responsive binary (azobenzene + solvent) lyotropic liquid crystals (LCs), and investigated their phase behaviour by structural modification of simple azobenzene molecules. A range of scattering and microscopy techniques were employed to explore the influence of structure and light-switchable nature on phase behaviour in these very interesting systems. Well done to Luke and all collaborators!

Excellent start to 2020!

The Faul Research Group has had an excellent start to 2020 – Neha joined the group as a long-term visitor from VISCTEC, Thailand (from the group of Prof Valerio D’Elia), and Charl (after a great break in South Africa) is visiting IIT Kharagpur again as part of his Indian-government funded SPARC programme.

As part of the SPARC project, project partners Professors Patra and Mishra are the convenors and organisers of the “Functional Smart & Supramolecular Materials 2020” workshop, which will take place later this week (29 & 30 January) in Kharagpur. This is bound to be an outstanding event, looking at the list of speakers!


Pan’s paper accepted … and now online

A paper by Pan (with collaborators from the Schroeder Group at UCL and Chemical Engineering in Bath) was just accepted for publication in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. The study, on the use of new conjugated microporous polymers for gas and vapour sorption and detection, provides insight into the use of CMPs for applications very relevant to the issues of indoor air quality and sensing.

The paper has now appeared as just accepted! Congratulations to all involved!

SPARC programme with the IIT Kharagpur

Charl is currently visiting the Department of Chemistry,  IIT Kharagpur, as part of the active SPARC project (funded by the Indian Government) with Sanjib Patra and Sabyashachi Mishra and their groups.

This is Charl’s first visit to India, and has been a great opportunity to discuss science with many colleagues, give lectures, and enjoy the local food and culture!

Here Charl is enjoying a home-cooked meal at Sanjib’s house, with Sanjib, Ganesh (who was a post-doc in the Aggarwal group in Bristol!), and Sabyashachi.

Plenary in Shanghai!

Charl gave a plenary lecture at Donghua University’s 9th International Conference on Advance Fibers and Polymer Materials.

The conference, organised by the State Key Laboratory for Modification of Fibers and Polymer Materials, included a range of contributions from the USA, China, UK, Germany, Japan and Korea (amongst others!).

Charl also had to the opportunity to catch up with Yaozu, Wei (former FRG members now at Donghua), as well as collaborators Prof Hiroshi Kitagawa (Kyoto, Japan), and Dr Samuel Chigome (BITRI, Botswana).