Friday 22 November 17:30 - 18:30

Lecture theatre G16
Sir Alexander Fleming Building
Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus

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A bright blue world

Science & Technology

The lecture is free to attend and open to all, but registration is required in advance.

A drinks reception will follow the lecture at 18.30 in the Sir Alexander Fleming Building Foyer


The colour blue has long been associated with harmony, vast oceans, regal gowns, calm, smurfs, and ground-breaking music.  Historically obtained by crushing semi-precious stones and available only to the wealthy, it is now ubiquitous thanks to chemistry and materials science. 

Nowadays, much of the synthetic blue around us comes from molecules that remarkably resemble chlorophyll, another colourful superhero which is responsible for photosynthesis, and absorbs sunlight to create energy.  This similarity has sparked the birth of organic electronics, where molecules can be printed or evaporated onto flexible substrates, replacing silicon to generate versatile solar cells and OLED televisions amongst others.  Blue is also the colour of landmark computers, and here again, molecules have properties that might open up avenues for low energy, high efficiency operations. 

Sandrine Heutz is a Professor of Functional Molecular Materials at Imperial College London. In her inaugural lecture she will demonstrate that by controlling and understanding the molecules in thin films and nanostructures, the transition from industrial pigment to solar cell to supercomputer might indeed be possible; and with it, a bright blue, and green world.   


Sandrine Heutz is a Professor of Functional Molecular Materials in the Department of Materials at Imperial College London. She obtained her BSc in Chemistry in 1998, after studying at the Universities of Liege, Belgium, and Sherbrooke, Canada. She first came to Imperial College for her PhD in Chemistry, and subsequently moved to University College London after obtaining a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship. She returned to Imperial College in 2007 to take up a lectureship in Materials.   Professor Heutz’ research is centred on the growth and characterisation of functional molecular thin films and nanostructures, and she has a particular fondness for blue phthalocyanines. She aims to exploit the multiple functionalities of the molecules, and in particular their spin, for novel applications in the fields of energy, sensing and communication.


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