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!

shanghai_donghua

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!

Djen’s paper accepted!

Great news – Djen’s paper on “Laser-scribed Graphene Oxide Electrodes for Soft Electroactive Devices” has been accepted for publication by Advanced Materials Technologies.

Here we (Djen, Jonathan Rossiter and Charl) show that laser-scribed graphene oxide (LSGO) can be used to fabricate patterned, stretchable electrodes for dielectric actuators (DEAs) – even an actuating University of Bristol logo!

Well done Djen!

Commonwealth PhD Scholarship applications invited!

If you are from one of the Commonwealth countries, including Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa, you are eligible to apply for  a Commonwealth PhD Scholarship.  Please see here for a full list of countries and further information.

If you are interested to join the Faul Research Group (under the theme of “Science and Technology for Development” ), then please contact Prof. Faul by email with a CV and two academic letters of reference.

Please note: the scholarship submission deadline is the 19th of December; however, in order to obtain an offer letter, applications for study at the University of Bristol need to be submitted by the 7th of December 2018.