Dr M Lozada-Hidalgo

Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Fellow

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Our research is focused on studying the permeability of two dimensional crystals at ambient conditions. These crystals display unexpected properties. For example, graphene is impermeable to all gases, even to the smallest, helium. Nevertheless, we found that protons, the nuclei of hydrogen atoms, readily permeate (Nature 516, 227–230 (2014)). In fact, these crystals display subatomic selectivity. We found that deuterons, nuclei of hydrogen atoms, permeate ~10 times slower than protons through some these crystals (Science 351, 68–70 (2016)). Another unexpected finding was a giant photoeffect in proton transport through graphene. The found photo-responsivity of ~104 A W-1 exceeds that of all but the most specialised silicon photodetectors (Nature Nanotechnology, 13, 300–303 (2018)). We are constantly investigating new materials. Recently, we found that atomically thin micas are excellent proton conductors and operate in temperature and humidity conditions where traditional bulk materials fail (Nature Nanotechnology 14, 962-966 (2019)). The permeability of 2D materials is an exciting research direction, with potential for finding novel phenomena in ion selectivity, photo-catalysis, green energy and novel quantum effects.

We regularly have opportunities for motivated prospective PhD students and postdocs. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply for a position in our group (marcelo.lozadahidalgo@manchester.ac.uk).

Areas of expertise

  • QC Physics - graphene, proton, ion transport, isotope, hydrogen
  • QD Chemistry - material science, isotope separation

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