Prof Hendrik Swart 
Physics
Chair:Solid-state Luminescent and Advanced Materials 2018-2022

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 developing materials for nano solid-state lighting. He has been key in the development of 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 668 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, 112 peer-reviewed conference proceedings, and is editor/author or co-editor/author of 25 book chapters and/or books, with more than 11 620 cited author references, an H-index of 47, i10 index of 352 on Google Scholar (38 and 290 since 2015), and more than 660 national and international conference contributions (authored and co-authored). He has an ISI H and Scopus index of 41 (rid=g-2696-2012) and 41, respectively.

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-8.344) as well as the editorial board of Applied Surface Science (IF- 6.182). He has 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 also chaired national and international conferences. He has successfully supervised more than 80 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. 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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