Xianjue ‘Sam’ Chen

Randwick, New South Wales

Nanotechnologist, materials chemistry researcher

With Australia’s water security crisis exacerbated by climate change, there is a pressing need to find sustainable water resources. Xianjue and his UNSW team are working on a nanotech solution – membranes made of atomically thin materials that could provide a more energy-efficient form of desalination due to its better water flux and salt-rejection properties. The choice of membrane materials is an inexpensive graphite clay, which is exfoliated to the depth of few nanometres. Xianjue is using his grant to set up new filtration systems for developing this low-energy process with great potential.