phd award 2020

Recipients of the annual PhD award

Molecular doping of epigraphene and excitons in two-dimensional materials – those are the topics of the day as Samuel Brem and Hans He receive the GCC/2D-tech PhD Award for best doctoral thesis on graphene and related materials at Chalmers in 2020. 
The two award winners received their prizes – a diploma and 15 000 SEK - at a web seminar on 1 March. 

"I’m honored that Graphene Center has recognized my PhD work, and I am grateful to be the recipient of the 2D-Tech award. I am very happy that my research on applications of epigraphene has garnered some interest", says Hans He, former PhD student at the quantum device laboratory at MC2. 
And his co-award-winner Samuel Brem, who carried out his PhD work at Condensed Matter and Materials Theory at the Physics department, joins in: 
"This award means a lot to me and I am very proud of it. It motivates me to continue my path in the academic world and to keep working hard on myself."

Samuel’s  thesis titled Microscopic theory of exciton dynamics in two-dimensional materials focuses on the dynamics of excitons in transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD’s) and their heterostructures – a topic that is believed to further new physics and help open the route to new technological applications such as sensors or light emitters. His PhD work includes five peer-reviewed scientific articles with Samuel being the first author, and a scientific production of 31 articles, which so far have been cited 524 times – arguably the highest H-index in the history of newly graduated PhD:s from Chalmers. 

"Samuel has developed a novel theoretical approach to describe moire exciton phenomena in technologically promising van der Waals heterostructures. He has been involved in over 30 scientific publications, including a cover article on Nature Materials", says Ermin Malic, director of the Graphene Centre and 2D-TECH. 

In his thesis, Molecular doping of epitaxial graphene for device application, Hans He uses a doping method to solve a common challenge when working with graphene and 2D materials: to create practical devices that are stable in ambient conditions and that can last for many years. By comparing with conventional quantum resistance standards, it has been confirmed that doped epigraphene meets the stringent criteria for use in precision quantum resistance metrology. The product is now commercialized and is has been used by various National Metrology Institutes across the world. In his PhD work, Hans also developed sensitive Hall sensors for magnetic field detection and contributed to the fabrication of a proof-of-concept terahertz detector, which potentially could revolutionize sensors used in next-generation space telescopes.

"Hans has developed a novel molecular doping technique for 2D materials, which has resulted in a patent and a high-impact publication in Nature Communications", says Ermin. 
The director of the Graphene Centre is also keen to emphasize what the two award winning theses mean to the university at large. 
"Chalmers is often just seen as the coordinator of the big Graphene Flagship, but Samuel and Hans demonstrate how strong the actual 2D material research is at Chalmers."

After receiving their prizes Hans and Samuel presented their award-winning theses. And besides enjoying the honor of winning the awards, it turns out also the prize money will come in handy. 
"As for the money, I'll probably save it until this pandemic passes and go travel somewhere with my wife", says Hans. 
"I will buy myself a good tablet to keep all my notes in the cloud and the rest of it will probably contribute to the budget needed to finally get my driving license", concludes Samuel. 

Samuel is currently doing his PostDoc at the University of Marburg in Germany and Hans is working for RISE where he continues doing active research on graphene-based primary metrology. 

Text: Lovisa Håkansson

Page manager Published: Wed 03 Mar 2021.