Prof Monica Craciun

Professor in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

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Telephone: 01392 723656

Extension: (Streatham) 3656

Prof Monica Craciun is Professor in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in the Engineering Department at the University of Exeter, UK. She has over 15 years of research expertise in the areas of Advanced Materials, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. She currently holds one of the 5-year EPSRC Engineering Fellowships for Growth awarded to only 8 UK leading academics for maintaining UK’s research leadership the area of Advanced Materials (identified as one of the Great British Technologies). Prof Craciun is/was investigator on more than 30 EPSRC, Royal Society, Innovate UK, EU and industrial research grants with a total funding of over £9.25million. At Exeter she is full-time staff of the Centre for Graphene Science and of the Nano Engineering Science and Technology Group. Prof Craciun gained a PhD in Applied Physics from Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands), an MSc in Materials Physics (Joseph Fourier University, Grenobe, France), an MSc in Applied Physics (University of Bucharest, Romania) and an MSc in Materials Engineering (Catholic University Leuven, Belgium). Before joining Exeter she was postdoctoral researcher at the University of Twente (The Netherlands) and at the University of Tokyo were she was awarded a prestigious fellowship of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science. Prof Craciun joined the University of Exeter in January 2010 as research fellow and took up the position of Professor in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in April 2017.

Her academic work spans from applied research in nanotechnology, electronic and optoelectronic devices to fundamental research in nanoscience (quantum phenomena, molecular electronics, nano electronics, spintronics) and materials science. She has over 90 publications in leading international journals (e.g. Nature & Science family journals, Advanced Materials, Nano Letters), with many papers ranked in the top 1% in Materials Science, Engineering and Physics, which have attracted an h-index of 25. Prof Craciun leads a group of 30 researchers currently focusing on two-dimensional materials with the aim of harnessing their novel properties for scopes as broad as electronics, photonics, energy and sensing.

Membership of editorial boards Research interests

The work of Prof Craciun spans from fundamental research in nanoscience (molecular electronics, quantum phenomena, nano electronics, spintronics) to applied research in electronic and optoelectronic materials and devices.

Nanotechnology & Electronic and optoelectronic materials and devices. These are research directions which I pioneered at Exeter and include novel techniques to pattern electrical circuits in Fluorine- functionalised graphene, of use for whole-graphene electronics [Nano Lett. 11, 3912 (2011)], a method to tailor the band gap of fluorinated graphene by tuning the Fluorine coverage [Nanoscale Res. Lett. 6, 526, (2011) & New J. Phys. 15, 033024 (2013)]. I discovered the GraphExeter material (i.e. few-layer graphene intercalated with FeCl3), which is currently the best performing carbon-based transparent conductor [Adv. Mater. 24, 2844 (2012)], with resilience to extreme conditions [Nature Scientific Reports 5, 7609 (2015)], extensively reported by media such as BBC, Forbes and Reuters. Furthermore, my team demonstrated the potential of GraphExeter for flexible electronics [Nature Scientific Reports 5, 16464 (2015)], transparent photo-detectors [ACS Nano 7, 5052 (2013)], foldable light emitting devices [ACS Appl. Mater. Int. 8, 16541 (2016)], used GraphExeter to provide the first evidence for magnetic ordering in the extreme limit of two-dimensional systems [Nano Lett 14, 1755 (2014)] and developed novel ways to strain graphene [Nano Lett. 14, 1158 (2014) & Nano Lett. 15, 7943 (2015)]. My team also developed a new growth method for graphene which is 100 times faster and 99% lower cost than standard Chemical Vapor Deposition [Adv. Mater. 27, 4200 (2015)], and used this type of graphene for the creation of graphene-based electronic textiles [Nature Scientific Reports 5, 9866 (2015)]. The latest advances include the development of a model for the intelligent design of fast and highly efficient atomically thin opto-electronic devices [Adv. Mater. (2017)], a novel method to engineer photodetectors in GraphExeter for ultrathin, high-definition sensing and video imaging technologies [Science Advances (2017)], and demonstration of ultra-small, ultra-fast and flexible non-volatile graphene memories [ACS Nano (2017)].

Quantum Phenomena & Nano electronics. Main contributions include the first experimental demonstration of charge carriers propagation in monolayer graphene via evanescent waves [Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 196802 (2008)] and the discovery that ABA-stacked trilayer graphene is the only gate-tuneable semimetal [Nature Nanotech. 4, 383 (2009)], opening the research area of few-layer graphene (FLG). In the area of FLG I also published the first experimental evidence that trilayer graphene has a unique stacking-dependent quantum Hall effect [Phys. Rev. B(R) 84, 161408 (2011)], the first studies of electrical transport in FLG with record high charge densities controlled by liquid ionic gating [PNAS 108, 13002 (2011)], and the first direct observation of the electric field tuneable energy gap in ABC-stacked trilayer graphene [Nano Lett. 15, 4429 (2015)]. The latest advances are the realisation of a highly efficient graphene Cooper pair splitter device for quantum information processing [Nature Sci. Rep. 2016], and revealing the mechanism of large distance supercurrent propagation through graphene-superconductor junctions [Nano Lett. 16, 4788 (2016)].

Molecular Electronics. Highlights include the discovery of a correlation between the electrical conduction of metal-phthalocyanine (MPc) materials and the molecular structure of their constituent molecules [J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127, 12210 (2005)] and the realisation of the first MPc ambipolar transistor [Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 262109 (2005)]. This was followed by the first demonstration of high electrical conductivity in alkali-doped MPc [Adv. Mater. 18, 320 (2006)], which has opened up the field of metallic MPc. I also published the first experimental observation of an insulating state in pentacene induced by strong interactions between the conduction electrons [Phys. Rev. B 79, 125116 (2009)].

Selected publications