President’s Science Award 2014
5 Nov 2014 NUS scientist won the President’s Science Award for ground-breaking work in graphene chemistry.
The President’s Science Award 2014 this year was won by Prof LOH Kian Ping from the Department of Chemistry in NUS for his “breakthrough research in graphene chemistry”. Graphene is a nanomaterial comprising one-atom thick layers of carbon atoms bonded into hexagonal honeycomb structures. This material has remarkable electronic, thermal, mechanical and other properties that may make it suitable for a number of applications in advanced technologies.
However there are also a number of challenges, including how to produce graphene in bulk for commercial applications, and separately how to transfer the highest-quality graphenes that can be grown on a limited number of substrates to more generally useful ones for technologies.
Prof Loh has made a number of significant advances on these two challenges. For example, he has led his research group to develop an electrochemical method to convert the relatively inexpensive raw material graphite into highly valuable graphene flakes. More recently his group has also demonstrated that graphene can be surprisingly transferred in a face-to-face manner from the copper surface on which it grows to the underlying silicon substrate. These achievements overcome critical bottlenecks for technological application. In related breakthroughs, his group has also demonstrated the use of graphene and its oxides in a wide variety of applications, from catalysis for green chemistry, to creating micro-reactor pockets for confined chemistry, to growing of stem cells, and controlling of laser pulses.
This picture shows the direct graphene growth-and-transfer methodology.