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Iontronics: from fundamentals to ion-controlled devices Faraday Discussion

21 - 23 June 2023, Edinburgh , United Kingdom



Join us in Edinburgh, or online, in June 2023 for this latest addition to our Faraday Discussion series. For over 100 years and 300 meetings, Faraday Discussions have been the forefront of physical chemistry, and many of these Discussions have become landmark meetings in their field. The unique format of the Faraday Discussions allows for in-depth discussions and opportunities to establish new collaborations.
Studying interaction of solvated ions with interfaces and their transport inside ionic devices has been a recurrently hot topic for research at the interface of physics, chemistry, and processing technologies. Iontronics, in a general use of this term, concern systems in which dissolved ions such as Na+, Cl-, and Ca2+ get transported. The driving force in iontronics is not necessarily electric or diffusive, but sometimes also convective due to fluid flows. The coupling between charge and fluid transport has found a wide range of applications, from signal transduction to energy generation or storage. The breadth and diversity of iontronic concepts, however, has been studied in parallel scientific tracks. To create opportunities for cross-fertilization between these tracks, this Faraday Discussion will be an opportunity to present the most recent experimental, theoretical, and numerical methods in the field, to review some of the existing challenges, both in fundamental research (e.g. understanding nanoscale ion transport) and in industrial applications (e.g. membrane technology, energy storage, imaging at the nanoscale), and to strengthen synergetic interactions between researchers addressing the microscopic and device-level mechanisms involved in these very pressing problems.

On behalf of the organising committee, we look forward to welcoming you to Edinburgh, or if you are joining us virtually, online.
Serge Lemay and Sanli Faez

Format of the Discussion

Faraday Discussions remain amongst the only conferences to distribute the speakers’ research papers in advance, allowing the majority of each meeting to be devoted to discussion in which all delegates can participate.  Following each meeting a written record of the discussion is published alongside the papers in the Faraday Discussions journal. Find out more about the Faraday Discussions in the video available.


The session topics for this Discussion emphasize the key building blocks of iontronic systems and devices. For each block, we have chosen speakers from at least two complementary sub-disciplines so as to create synergy in the discussions and create fertile conditions for identifying parallels and persisting challenges. 

The Faraday Discussion will be organised into the following themes:

Iontronic coupling
The complexity of iontronics stems in large part from the various couplings inherent to these systems, further compounded by the often subtle roles of geometry and surface chemistry. This leads to surprising effects such as concentration polarization, flow-dependent charge regulation and enormous areal power densities in nm-thick membranes.  This session will explore the most recent theoretical and experimental insights on ion transport through nanometric-to-micrometric channels and pores, from a microscopic perspective, at a fundamental level and with an eye for applications.  
Iontronic dynamics
Iontronic processes involve several time scales. While most description and electrochemical methods are geared towards (quasi-)equilibrium conditions, transient responses have attracted more attention in recent years. Key challenges which will be discussed in this session include: (i) understanding the coupling between field effects on ions and solvent, ion-ion interactions and surface-ion interactions and their respective time scales; (ii) understanding ion-specific effects, related to differences in mass, valence, and hydration, on the dynamics; (iii) addressing the non-linear regimes, e.g. strong electric fields, where the interaction energy of an ion with the electric field is much greater than its thermal energy. 

Iontronics under confinement
The study of ion flows and electrochemical processes confined to nanoscale dimensions has three main motivations: (i) the nanometer scale is the natural length scale for ions, and confinement at this level provides a new window into the elementary processes of screening, transport and charge transfer; (ii) many heterogeneous systems of technological interest, in particular in the energy sector (supercapacitors, batteries, catalysts), exploit confinement to improve the interfacial-area-to-volume ratio, yet the implications remain poorly understood; and (iii) the interest in miniaturized bioanalytical systems based on micro- and nanofluidic devices continues to mount. This session will address recent advances in experimental methods ranging from scanning probes to microfabricated structures.

Iontronic microscopy
Many iontronics processes in liquid environments are dictated by the interaction of ions with charged surfaces. The surface charge, however, is often highly heterogeneously distributed. Providing the required range of temporal and spatial resolution for sensing the surface charge heterogeneities is challenging and often hard to achieve with sufficient charge sensitivity. Recently, some direct imaging methods have been demonstrated that are sensitive to the local electric field and/or the ion concentration in the electric double layer. In this session, we aim are presenting these novel methods to the community and investigating their opportunities and limitations for investigation of iontronic processes. 
Yan Levin (Introductory Lecture), URRGS, Brazil

Prof. Levin received B.Sc. degree in Physics and Mathematics (1987) from  Carnegie Mellon University and  obtained M.Sc. (1989) and Ph.D. (1992) from the University of California, Berkeley. After this he spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow with Michael E. Fisher at the University of Maryland. Presently he is a Professor of Physics at Instituto de Física, UFRGS and a level  1A researcher of CNPq (Brazil).  His research interests are: electrolytes, polyelectrolytes, plasmas, gravitational systems, charged colloids, vesicles, membranes, and ion channels. In 2012 he received the CBPF prize for his work on Statistical Mechanics and Biophisics and in 2014 prize Pesquisador Destaque.   In 2015 he was elected to Brazilian Academy of Sciences. In 2017 he was named the Outstanding Referee of The American Physical Society.

Lyderic Bocquet (Closing Speaker), Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France

Lydéric Bocquet is director of research at CNRS and joint professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris.  His research interests are mainly curiosity driven and extend to domains at the interface of fluid dynamics, condensed matter and nanoscience. He combines experiments, theory and simulations to explore the intimate mechanisms of fluid transport from the macroscopic down to the molecular level, with a focus on nanofluidics, the science of molecular flows. A key objective is to explore the unexpected fluid transport behaviour occurring at the nanoscales in order to design and fabricate artificial “nanoscale ionic machines” based on emerging properties and capable to reproduce the amazing functionalities of biological systems. Another goal is to take benefit of the sometimes 'exotic' fluid transport behaviour occurring at the nanoscales to propose new routes for energy harvesting and desalination. He is cofounder of four start-ups, developing innovative applications based on fundamental advances.

Martin Bazant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States

Martin Z. Bazant is the E. G. Roos (1944) Chair Professor of Chemical Engineering and Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  After a Ph.D. in Physics at Harvard (1997), he joined the MIT faculty in Mathematics (1998) and then Chemical Engineering (2008), where he served as Executive Officer from 2016 to 2020.  His awards include the Kuznetsov Prize in Theoretical Electrochemistry (ISE), the Acrivos Award in Chemical Engineering (AIChE), and the MITx Prize for Teaching in Massive Open Online Courses.  He also serves as President of the International Electrokinetics Society, Director of Data-Driven Design of Rechargeable Batteries (D3BATT), Director of the Center for Battery Sustainability, Chief Scientific Advisor for Saint Gobain Research North America, and Chief Scientist for Lithios, an MIT startup company he co-founded to develop Advanced Lithium Extraction from brines using electrochemistry. 

Arianna Marchioro, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

Arianna received her PhD from EPFL in 2014, advised by Prof. Jacques-E. Moser and Prof. M. Grätzel. Her graduate work focused on charge carrier dynamics in solid-state dye-sensitised and perovskite solar cells. Arianna did postdoctoral research from 2014 to 2016 as a SNSF Early Postdoc mobility fellow at the University of Washington. There, she worked on luminescent properties of semiconductor nanocrystals under the guidance of Prof. Gamelin. In 2018, Arianna received an SNSF Ambizione fellowship to start her independent research career in the group of Prof. Roke at EPFL.

Markus Valtiner, TU Wien, Austria

Markus Valtiner is full professor (institute of applied physics) at TU Wien. He did his PhD at the Max-Planck-Institute in Düsseldorf with Martin Stratmann, and his post-doc with Jacob Israelachvili at UC Santa Barbara (USA). His work is focused on measuring molecular interactions in biologic systems, including membrane physics, transport and chemistry in confinement. He uses and develops electrochemical single molecule atomic force microcopy, the surface forces apparatus, and optical tweezers.

Tanja Vidakovic-Koch, MPI Magdeburg, Germany

Tanja Vidakovic-Koch is head of the Electrochemical Energy Conversion Group at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in Magdeburg, Germany. She studied chemical engineering at the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy in Belgrade, Serbia, and received her PhD from Otto von Guericke University (OVGU) in Magdeburg, Germany. The focus of her research is on the development and analysis of various electrochemical processes. Some examples are hydrogen chloride electrolysis, electroenzymatic processes, low temperature fuel cells and more recently water electrolysis. Her other focus is the development of advanced electrochemical methods for monitoring and diagnosing various electrochemical processes. Examples include non-linear and concentration-frequency analyses. She also lectures on fuel cell technology and electrochemical process engineering at OVGU. 

Gilad Yossifon, Tel-Aviv University , Israel

Professor in the school of Mechanical Engineering at Tel-Aviv University and the head of the µ/nano-fluidics laboratory. Gilad completed his PhD (2008) at Tel-Aviv University, his MSc (1999) and BSc (1994, Summa Cum Laude) studies in Mechanical Engineering at the Technion, and an additional MSc (2003) in Electrical Engineering in Tel-Aviv University. Between 2007-2009 he was a postdoc research associate in the University of Notre Dame in the Chemical and Biomolecular department. Between 2009 and 2021 he was an associate professor in the faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Technion – I.I.T and since 2021 he is a full Professor at Tel-Aviv University. His research interests lie in the area of electrokinetics in micro- and nano-fluidics, iontronics, electrokinetic separation, active (self-propelling) particles, micro- and nano-robots and lab-on-a-chip devices.

  • Frieder Mugele University of Twente, Netherlands
  • Sumita Pennathur University of California, Santa Barbara, United States

Abstract Submission

Oral Abstracts - closed

A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. Submit an oral/paper abstract by 13 October 2022 if you wish to be considered for an oral presentation and associated published paper. The oral/paper abstract should outline current research in progress. Authors of the selected abstracts must then submit a full research paper with a significant amount of new, unpublished work by 30 January 2023

The research papers are reviewed upon submission and are sent to all delegates 4 weeks before the meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume.   

Poster Abstracts  - deadline extended until 24 April

Submit your poster abstract by 24 April 2023. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and a poster session is held on the first evening.  A poster prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference.

Additonal Information 

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 6 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation. 

Planning your trip

We encourage delegates who are planning to attend events in person to arrange suitable travel and accommodation insurance, which should include cover for the postponement or cancellation of travel caused by regulations and guidelines relating to Covid-19. We also recommend considering flexible travel and accommodation booking options where possible.

In-person registration includes:
  • Attendance at all scientific sessions
  • Live interaction with delegates attending virtually
  • Attendance at the poster session and access to the virtual poster gallery
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting and lunch on all three days
  • Attendance at the poster drinks reception on 21 June 2023
  • Attendance at the conference dinner on 22 June 2023
  • Access to all journal paper pdf “pre-prints” before the meeting
  • Access to recordings of all scientific sessions post-event
  • ***A copy of the Faraday Discussion journal volume, issued approximately 5 months after the meeting, containing all papers presented at the meeting and accompanying discussion comments.
Please note accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

All prices quoted do not include VAT, which is added during registration at the prevailing rate in the UK
Early bird Standard
RSC member £395 +VAT £445 +VAT
Non-member £495 +VAT £545 +VAT
Student RSC member £195 +VAT £245 +VAT
Student non-member £245 +VAT £295 +VAT
Accompanying person £125 +VAT £125 +VAT

Virtual registration includes:
  • ​Attendance at all scientific sessions via the Royal Society of Chemistry’s virtual conference platform
  • Live interaction with delegates attending in-person and other virtual delegates
  • Access to the virtual poster gallery and exhibitor/sponsor virtual rooms
  • Access to all journal paper pdf “pre-prints” before the meeting
  • Access to recordings of all scientific sessions post-event
  • ***A copy of the Faraday Discussion journal volume, issued approximately 5 months after the meeting, containing all papers presented at the meeting and accompanying discussion comments.
All prices quoted do not include VAT, which is added during registration at the prevailing rate in the UK
RSC member £235 +VAT
Non-member £295 +VAT
Student RSC member £115 +VAT
Student non-member £145 +VAT

Student Delegates 

In order to encourage undergraduate or postgraduate students to attend the Discussion, a reduced conference fee (to include a set of pre-prints but not the final Discussion Volume) is available. This fee applies to those undertaking a full time course for a recognised degree or a diploma at a university or equivalent institution.

A copy of the publication may be purchased at less than half price, only for orders placed at the meeting where an application form will be made available. 

Accompanying person

If you would like to bring a guest to the conference, this can be done during the registration process. There will be an additional charge which will include all lunches, refreshments and the conference dinner. The fee does not include attendance at any scientific sessions, journal paper pre-prints or the journal volume.


The Royal Society of Chemistry is keen to encourage and enable as many people as possible to attend our events, to benefit from the networking opportunities and the chance to hear talks from leaders in the field. If you would like to discuss accessibility, please contact us to discuss your requirements so that we can enable your attendance. Please refer also to our Grants for carers, for more information please see the ‘bursaries’ section on this page

Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry


Researcher Development Grant

If you are an RSC Member and you are one of the following
  • A PhD student; 
  • An academic researcher within 10 years of completion of a PhD (including postdoctoral researchers); 
  • Working in the industry within 10 years of leaving full-time education or; 
  • A technician within 10 years of leaving full-time education.
You can apply for up to £500 to support your participation in this event.

Please note it is not necessary to have confirmation of abstract acceptance before applying for a Researcher Development and Training Grant and we encourage you to apply as early as possible. This Grant is open for 11 months of the year – January to November. 

Applicants must apply for activities occurring at least 2 months from the end of your application month. Please see the website for up-to-date information on eligibility, how to apply and submission deadlines.

Researcher Development and Travel Grants can be applied for in addition to Grants for Carers and Assistance Grants.

Grants for Carers

Grants for carers have been introduced following the Royal Society of Chemistry Breaking the barriers report where 78% of chemists working in UK academia felt that managing parenting and/or caring responsibilities has an impact on women’s retention and progression. This fund is not limited to women scientists and welcomes applications from anyone with caring responsibilities. These grants have been supported by The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemists’ Community Fund.

You can apply for up to a maximum of £1200/year to assist with additional financial costs that you incur for care usually provided by you whilst you attend a chemistry related meeting, conference or workshop or a professional development event.

Caring responsibilities are wide and varied, and so each application will be individually assessed, examples of applications that we will consider include:
  • paying for extra home help or nursing care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • additional medical/respite care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • travel expenses for a relative to travel with you to care for dependents whilst you attend a meeting or event
  • paying for extended hours with a care worker/childminder/play scheme to cover time when you will arrive home later than normal.
You are eligible to apply if: 
  • you are a chemist
  • you will incur additional caring expenses whilst attending a chemistry-related meeting, conference, event or workshop or a professional development event
  • you will use these funds to cover the cost of care that you usually provide 
  • you are based in the UK or Ireland or if not, you will normally have held three years RSC membership (past or current).

Useful links

Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities is available for companies who would like to promote their activities at the 2023 Faraday Discussion series.
There are opportunities available to become the Faraday Discussion series sponsor,  Research & Development partner or poster prize series sponsor as well as some individual meeting options. A sponsorship menu document is available to download from this page with more details and prices.
Please note that exhibition spaces are limited, spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
If you would like more information about sponsoring the 2023 Faraday Discussion series, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on Sponsorship Menu
John McIntyre Conference Centre

John McIntyre Conference Centre, University of Edinburgh, Pollack Halls, 18 Holyrood Park Rd, Edinburgh , EH16 5AX, United Kingdom

There are various accomodation options a short walk from the conference centre.

We can offer a 15% discount (subject to availability) at KM Hotel and The Scholar and a 10% discount at The Scott Hotel (subject to availability)

The discount comes from the best available rate, rates vary on a daily basis so guests may be quoted different rates. The discount code is also switched off if there is high occupancy.

The promo code to use is EVENT

This code is not valid for the summer accommodation at Chancellors Court or Holland House.

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