With each new discovery comes joy and excitement

Six years ago, Aristeidis Bakandritsos decided to move with his entire family from Greece to Olomouc. Today, he is the head of a research group that forms part of CATRIN’s scientific backbone and, together with colleagues, is developing new materials with properties tailored to specific applications.

Photo: Lucie Šindelková

“We focus primarily on the 2D chemistry of graphene and other low-dimensional materials that are used in areas such as energy storage and as catalysts in the production of chemicals,” says the research chemist, who decided to pursue a career as a scientist during his doctoral studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the ‘Demokritos’ National Centre for Scientific Research. “I still remember the excitement I felt when I first synthesized a material with better properties than its stateof-the-art counterparts and when I received a letter from the editor of a journal accepting my first scientific article for publication. That excitement motivated me to dedicate my career to materials research, which has turned out to be very rewarding because I experience the same excitement and joy with every new discovery,” he explains.

He has had several remarkable successes, including articles published in globally renowned journals such as Nature Nanotechnology and a number of highly productive international projects. In future, he plans to translate his group’s results into practical technologies. “We are developing advanced materials that will be crucial for ensuring our energy self-sufficiency. Efficient energy storage technologies will allow us to make better use of sustainable but intermittent resources such as the Sun and wind. Through catalysis, we will produce chemicals from waste, paving the way to a greener and safer future. I hope our materials and technologies will support the transition to a more sustainable civilisation,” he said.