July 16, 2015, by Emma Thorne

Nottingham researcher is recognised by the British Carbon Group award

A University of Nottingham chemist has joined the ranks of winners of the annual award established in 1996 by the British Carbon Group in memory of Brian Kelly, a leading authority on the physics of graphite. The prestigious award includes a travel grant for the winner to present their work at the annual World Carbon Conference, hosted this year in Dresden, Germany.

Dr Graham Rance, postdoctoral researcher in the School of Chemistry, is one of the leading experts on the chemistry of carbon nanotubes — nanoscale relatives of graphite with their diameters as small as 1/80,000th of that of a human hair, but with their lengths reaching up to several millimetres.

Professor Malcolm Heggie, the Chairman of The British Carbon Group said: “This was a hotly contested round for the Brian Kelly Award with excellent submissions across the established graphite community and workers in the novel carbons. In its selection of Dr Rance, the award committee recognized the novelty, rigour and depth of his work on the action of carbon-nanotube-based catalysts.”

Dr Rance’s research on nanoparticle–nanotube superstructures unravels the fundamental aspects of interactions between carbon nanotubes and metallic nanoparticles. His pioneering postgraduate work paved the way for the development of catalytic nanoreactors based on metal nanoparticles adhered on surface or embedded inside nanotubes, and thin-film materials, as recognised by several University of Nottingham awards (including 2009 Barker Prize for best presentation at postgraduate colloquium and 2010 Turner Prize for best PhD thesis in the School of Chemistry).

Dr Rance said: “It’s a great honour to be recognised by the British Carbon Group for my research. Many thanks go to all the mentors, colleagues and students that I have had the privilege of working with over the last few years who have been essential for our collective successes.”

Professor Andrei Khlobystov, Director of the Nottingham Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Centre, said: “Graham is a vital member of the NNNC, with a specific responsibility for Raman spectroscopy and microscopy facilities. In addition to his expertise in the preparation of carbon nanostructures, he is developing innovative approaches for materials characterisation by Raman spectroscopy and related techniques. Graham’s research is highly interdisciplinary which helps us to establish collaborations with research groups across different Faculties and with industrial partners.”

The Award will be announced later today (16th July) at the Carbon 2015 conference, where Dr Rance will present a lecture on his latest research on catalytic carbon nanoreactors entitled Palladium nanoparticles in catalytic carbon nanoreactors: the effect of confinement on Suzuki-Miyaura reactions.

For more information go to the Royal Society of Chemistry http://www.rsc.org/Membership/Networking/InterestGroups/britishcarbon/Awards.asp

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