Queen Mary academic secures University Research Fellowship from the Royal Society

30 November 2022

Dr Tom Macdonald
Dr Tom Macdonald

Dr Tom Macdonald, an 1851 Research Fellow in the School of Engineering and Materials Science at Queen Mary University of London, is one of 50 successful recipients of the Royal Society’s University Research Fellowship (URF) for 2022.

The Royal Society research fellows will work on research projects spanning the physical, mathematical, chemical and biological sciences.

Tom’s URF attracts over £1.1M of funding and will support his research titled, "Harnessing nanotechnology for self-powered wireless electronics".

Tom will develop a nanostructured perovskite light absorber material and engineer a chemically active solar cell which is capable of scavenging impurities, both of which will complement the two major challenges in perovskite solar cells - stability and efficiency. The research will combine chemistry and nanotechnology to enable the conversion of both indoor and outdoor light to electricity.

Speaking of his fellowship, Tom said: "It’s an honour to be chosen as one of the fellows. The Royal Society funding allows for the pursuit and completion of research excellence, and I am thrilled to be given this opportunity to develop my research practice further."

Tom’s expertise lies in the synthesis and characterisation of nanomaterials for application in photovoltaics – the direct conversion of light into electricity at the nanoscale. He has recently led work into how phosphorene nanoribbons (PNRs) can be used as an energy device in solar cells, improving their functionality and efficiency. Collaborating with University College London (UCL), Tom has provided a vision for how PNRs can be used to help tackle the energy crisis.

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