UFS strip research

Hendrik Swart

Prof Hendrik Swart 
Chair: Solid-state Luminescent and Advanced Materials 2023-2027

Prof Hendrik C Swart is an NRF B1-rated researcher (internationally acclaimed researchers) and is currently a Senior Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of the Free State. He brought luminescence materials to South Africa early in 1996, after a highly productive sabbatical spent in the lab of Paul Holloway at the University of Florida in Gainesville. This laid the foundation for his subsequent research at the UFS and was one of the most exhilarating times of his academic career. Since then, he has led research in the area of the degradation of phosphors for field emission displays, as well as the development of materials for nano solid-state lighting. He has been key in developing processes to synthesise and deposit thin films of various types of semiconductor nanoparticles, which will enhance the colour, luminescent intensity, and lifetime of such displays. His research led to the establishment of a strong group working on luminescent materials, and also the establishment of several smaller groups all over South Africa. He has more than 800 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, 112 peer-reviewed conference proceedings, and is editor/author or co-editor/author of 60 book chapters and/or books, with more than 19 600 cited author references, an H-index of 59, i10 index of 511 on Google Scholar, and more than 660 national and international conference contributions (authored and co-authored). He is a reviewer for more than 100 international and national professional journals in his field (or in related fields), and a member of the editorial board of the high impact-factor journal, Critical Reviews in Solid State and Materials Sciences (IF-11.178). He received the South African National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) award in 2009 for research capacity development of students in the niche area of nanophysics. His commitment to the next generation of scientists is also reflected by the awards he received from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of the Free State for excellence (Dean’s Medal) (2012), research (2014), mentorship (2008), academic entrepreneurship (2009), and as best researcher (2018). He received honorary membership from the Golden Key Association (2012). In 2017, he received the Radio Rosestad award – a local radio station – for outstanding research and postgraduate teaching. He received the prestigious South African Havenga Prize for Science and Technology in 2022. He has also chaired national and international conferences. He has successfully supervised more than 100 PhD and MSc students in the past, with another 20 in progress

Prof Swart has established a national nanosurface characterisation facility (NNSCF) containing state-of-the-art surface characterisation equipment. A Research Chair in Solid State Luminescent and Advanced Materials was awarded to him by the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) at the end of 2012, which was renewed for another five years at the end of 2017, and again at the end of 2022. The main focus of his research group is the improvement of luminescent materials for applications in flat panel displays, solar cells, solid-state lighting, dosimetry, and thermometry.

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