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Duke University chemist wins prestigious SCI, Royal Society of Chemistry /IOM3 prize

Benjamin Wiley

10 Jul 2015

Prof Benjamin Wiley from Duke University, North Carolina is our Beilby Medal and Prize winner for 2015.

The Beilby Medal and Prize is awarded annually by SCI's Materials Chemistry Group, the Royal Society of Chemistry and Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and carries a prize of £1000. The award recognises work of exceptional practical significance in chemical engineering, applied materials science, energy efficiency or a related field.

Prof Wiley’s lab studies the processes by which atoms assemble to form nanostructures in solution, and how the structure and properties of these nanostructures relate in practical applications. The Wiley lab has developed the use of nanowires, which look similar to pine needles but are 10,000 times smaller, as a low-cost alternative to indium tin oxide to reduce the cost of solar cells. Production rates of nanowire-based transparent electrodes can be more than 100 times faster than for indium tin oxide, drastically reducing production costs, while the performance of nanowire-based transparent electrodes exceeds that of indium tin oxide.

I feel very honoured to receive the Beilby Medal, primarily because it places me in the same group as the accomplished individuals who have won the award previously and whose work I greatly admire,’ Prof Wiley said.

I am very grateful to those who nominated me for this award, as well as to my graduate and postdoctoral advisors, Younan Xia and George Whitesides, for their mentorship and support.  This award brings attention to the recent efforts to use metal nanowires to lower the cost of solar cells, and will thereby help secure future financial support for this and similar efforts to direct nanomaterial research in ways that benefit society.’

The Beilby medal is a memorial to Sir George Thomas Beilby, President of all three bodies, or their predecessors.

Prize winners are evaluated for the originality and impact of their research, as well as the quality of the results which can be shown in publications, patents, or even software. The awards also recognise the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, and the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.

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