Marcelo Lozada Hidalgo

Marcelo Lozada Hidalgo


Personal profile


Our research is focused on studying the permeability of two dimensional crystals at ambient conditions. These crystals display unexpected properties. For example, graphene is impermeable to all gases, even to the smallest, helium. Nevertheless, we found that protons, the nuclei of hydrogen atoms, readily permeate (Nature 516, 227–230 (2014)). In fact, these crystals display subatomic selectivity. We found that deuterons, nuclei of hydrogen atoms, permeate ~10 times slower than protons through some these crystals (Science 351, 68–70 (2016)). Another unexpected finding was a giant photoeffect in proton transport through graphene. The found photo-responsivity of ~104 A W-1 exceeds that of all but the most specialised silicon photodetectors (Nature Nanotechnology, 13, 300–303 (2018)). We are constantly investigating new materials. Recently, we found that atomically thin micas are excellent proton conductors and operate in temperature and humidity conditions where traditional bulk materials fail (Nature Nanotechnology 14, 962-966 (2019)). The permeability of 2D materials is an exciting research direction, with potential for finding novel phenomena in ion selectivity, photo-catalysis, green energy and novel quantum effects.

We regularly have opportunities for motivated prospective PhD students and postdocs. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply for a position in our group (

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Areas of expertise

  • QC Physics
  • graphene
  • proton
  • ion transport
  • isotope
  • hydrogen
  • QD Chemistry
  • material science
  • isotope separation

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Advanced materials
  • National Graphene Institute


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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