Duncan Johnstone, UK

Duncan is a Masters student in the Gobert Group of Nanomaterials by Design within the Department of Materials at the University of Oxford. His work encompasses tailored synthesis, extensive characterisation, and theoretical evaluation of metal chalcogenide nanomaterials. These materials are interesting due to their existence as structural analogues of carbon nanomaterials combined with versatile chemistry and properties, as his talk elucidates. This work involves collaboration with researchers at Forschungszentrum J├╝lich, Germany and the University of Liege, Belgium. He hopes to take up a PhD position working on techniques in electron crystallography in October 2014.

Teaching and communicating science are very important for Duncan. He has fostered this belief through outreach work as well as tutoring. Previously, he investigated the effect of signalling factors on cell migration with a view to developing biomaterials for wound healing at the EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland). He also worked on the mechanical testing of organic electronics at Oxford Materials.


Layered inorganic nanomaterials: Going beyond graphene

Nanomaterials have attracted much attention owing to their unique physical properties. Graphene, a single atomic  layer of carbon atoms, with exceptional properties, has been studied intensively and is touted for a wide range of applications, from electronics to biomedicine. However, grapene alone is limited both chemically and in its properties so can only play specific roles in applications. This has driven interest in other 'inorganic' materials, which can be isolated as two-dimensional nanomaterials analogous to graphene. This opens the door to a range of chemical compositions and ever more versatile properties to be exploited in applications.

This talk focuses on layered metal chalcogenide nanomaterials, which can be conductors. Semiconductors are of particular interest here owing to the importance of this feature in optical and electronic applications which will be discussed. Finally, the potential of combining various two-dimensional layered materials to produce novel 'heterostructures' will be considered.