Nick is a PhD student based at University College London and his main area of research is in the use of graphene oxide (GO) for the removal of radionuclides from aqueous environments. GO has been shown experimentally to be a highly effective sorbing material for a wide range of ions and environments under laboratory conditions and there are numerous potential applications for this material in the nuclear power industry. Nick is using density functional theory (DFT) to elucidate the electron structure of GO-radionuclide systems and therefore to deepen our understanding of the mechanisms of binding so as to determine whether increased adsorption can be achieved by varying the nature and degree of surface and edge functionalisation.
As his research progresses, Nick will be using molecular dynamics simulations in order to investigate larger systems and so better understand the experimentally observed aggregation and formation of particulate solids when GO interacts with ionic complexes.
After spending several years gaining research experience while working as a staff scientist developing material identification algorithms and full system Monte Carlo models of x-ray detectors for use in aviation security and medical physics, Nick spent a year travelling around the world before beginning his PhD. He studied physics at undergraduate and nuclear physics at postgraduate (MSc) level.