Newton International Fellowships!

The new round of the Newton International Fellowship funding scheme has just been announced by the Royal Society! This scheme is for those interested in applying for a position as a post-doctoral researcher in the UK; specifically, for non-UK scientists who are at an early stage of their research career and wish to conduct research in the UK! Click on this link for the detailed scheme notes.Money

If you are interested to apply for a position in the Faul Research Group, please email Prof. Faul with your CV and TWO letters of reference by the 28th of February.


Quick visit to Donghua University’s State Key Lab

Charl was invited to join the International Advisory Committee for Donghua University‘s State Key Laboratory for Fibers and Polymer Materials in Shanghai. It was a great opportunity to have a fantastic overview of the science done in this exciting area, but also to meet friends and colleagues from China, the USA, Europe, Singapore and Africa!


It was also a great opportunity to catch up with former postdoc (and now professor at Donghua), Yaozu Liao, and to meet a fellow African, Dr Samuel Chigome from the  Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI)!


Starting the year on a high note – first publication!

Happy 2019! The year has started on a high note, with our first paper (joint with our collaborators Jiangfei Xu and Xi Zhang from the Department of Chemistry at Tsinghua) just accepted and appeared online in Chemistry Society Reviews!

Henry and Charl contributed to the tutorial review, entitled “Molecular Engineering of Polymeric Supra-amphiphiles“, where the concept of supra-amphiphiles is introduced and discussed in detail! Well done to all involved!

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!