Waterloo physicist awarded prestigious Sloan Fellowship

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dmitry AbaninThe Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has recognized Waterloo professor, Dmitry Abanin, for his groundbreaking theoretical research in condensed matter physics of Dirac materials, such as graphene. 

Abanin’s work has resulted in a number of significant theories that have been confirmed experimentally, a remarkable achievement for a physicist so early in his career. Graphene has important applications for medicine, integrated circuits, solar cells and superconductors. 

“For a society to really grow, it needs people who are pushing the boundaries of what’s known to make new progress,” said Abanin.

Graphene, a single layer of carbon, is a newer crystalline material that is no thicker than a single atom but stronger than a layer of steel at the same thickness.

“Many of these ideas will enrich our understanding of the world, and some will really click and lead to something big,” said Abanin. “That’s why this kind of fellowship is important – it supports people who are probing the edges of knowledge. It will help me, my group, and our research go further.”

For more than a half-century, the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowships have been awarded annually to the rising stars of science in Canada and the United States, helping establish them as the next generation of scientific leaders in areas spanning physics, chemistry, biology, and related disciplines. Fellows receive $50,000 to further their research.

Abanin is a faculty member at the Perimeter Institute. He also holds an adjunct professorship in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo and collaborates with experimentalists at Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC).

He joined Perimeter in 2013 following postdoctoral research positions at Harvard and Princeton. He has worked alongside Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov whose groundbreaking research on graphene was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Abanin is the twelfth Waterloo researcher to be awarded a Sloan Fellowship since the 1960’s. Professor Matteo Mariantoni, also from IQC as well as Physics and Astronomy, won a Sloan Fellowship in 2013.