Dr. Marcelo Lozada-Hidalgo is a Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Research Fellow at the University of Manchester Condensed Matter Physics group. His research is focused on the study of the transport of protons and other ions through atomically thin crystals.
We demonstrated that protons can transport through monolayer graphene and few-layered hexagonal boron nitride (Nature 2014). These crystals are in fact sub-atomic selective membranes. They allow for the separation of protons from deuterons – nuclei of hydrogen isotopes – with the highest separation efficiency of any technology available today (Science 2016, Nature Comms. 2017).
Surprisingly, graphene proton transport membranes are ~100,000 times more sensitive to sunlight that commercial silicon photodiodes and most 2D materials photodetectors with a gain of ~104 protons per photon (Nature Nano. 2018). Recently, we found that atomically-thin micas are even better proton conductors than graphene and hBN (Nature Nano. 2019 https://rdcu.be/bP6Qv)