Mr Ben Hogan

Postgraduate Researcher (Metamaterials CDT 2015)


In 2015, I graduated with a Masters degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Bath, majoring in physics. As part of my degree programme I spent 13 months on placement with the Vacuum Science group at the STFC Daresbury Laboratory. Primarily this time was spent investigating electron desorption from novel materials for use in vacuum chambers, particularly those found in particle accelerators such as the LHC. During this placement I was involved in the publication of three journal articles.

My Masters project was focussed on the synthesis and characterisation of self-assembling organic nanowires based on coronene. These nanowires have two important characteristics; an optically induced increase in conductivity which can be tuned to specific wavelength ranges, and an intrinsic molecular rotation at room temperature leading to a range of potential applications in nanoscale molecular devices and supramolecular machines.

In September 2015, I began my PhD with the Metamaterials CDT at Exeter, where my project involves the synthesis, characterisation and application to devices of composites of graphene (and related materials) dispersed within nematic liquid crystals. I am also investigating the emergent field of dispersions of 2D materials in various solvents, where careful selection of particle concentration can allow a lyotropic liquid crystal phase to exist.