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Lancaster physicist given a prestigious award by the Royal Society

03 January 2011

 

Nobel Laureate Kostya Novoselov and Vladimir Falko at the Royal Swedish Academy
Nobel Laureate Kostya Novoselov and Vladimir Falko at the Royal Swedish Academy

Professor Vladimir Falko, Head of Theoretical Physics at Lancaster University, has received a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award worth £127,000 in recognition of his achievements in nanoscience.

Professor Falko was chosen for his work on exploring the theory of the electronic properties of nanostructures and low-dimensional materials, such as graphene, which has the thickness of only one or two atoms.

Jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the scheme aims to attract to this country or to retain respected scientists of outstanding achievement and potential.

Ever since the emergence of graphene in 2004, Falko has been a major player in the field: he and his research team have discovered the unique electronic properties of bilayer crystals, predicted unusual transport characteristics of graphene p-n junctions, and laid the foundations for the understanding of the transport and optical properties of this new material.

Prior to the advent of graphene, Falko’s key works had encompassed spin effects in semiconductor quantum dots, quantum transport in nanostructures which are objects on a very small scale (to put that into context, a structure measuring 100 nanometers is 1,000 times smaller than the average human hair).

Professor Falko recently attended the Nobel Prize Award ceremony in Stockholm, where he was invited by the new Nobel Laureates Kostya Novoselov and Andre Geim, who discovered graphene.

He said: “For me, this Royal Society Wolfson Award is not just a matter of personal prestige but a demonstration that the Lancaster team is now regarded as a renowned centre of excellence in condensed matter theory.”

“I would like to thank my colleagues Vadim Cheianov, Ed McCann and Henning Schomerus for the pleasure of very stimulating collaborations during recent years, and Lancaster University and the faculty of Science and Technology management at all levels for the unreserved support of our activities.”