Pictured is a structure of a model soot particle consisting of a quasi-amorphous core and an ordered outer shell. Blue and grey colours indicate carbon atoms in the core and shell, respectively.


The Combustion Physics Group of the Institute of Physics has awarded CARES researchers the prestigious Ricardo Award. This award recognises significant technological advances and contributions to the advancement of understanding at a fundamental level in the field of combustion physics.

The award was conferred for the paper “Exploring the internal structure of soot particles using nanoindentation: A reactive molecular dynamics study”, published in Combustion and Flame.

The study, by Dr Laura Pascazio, Dr Jacob Martin, Dr Kimberly Bowal, Dr Jethro Akroyd, and Prof Markus Kraft delves into the intricate internal structure of soot particles. The researchers were able to simulate nanoindentation (a type of hardness test) techniques combined with reactive molecular dynamics to gain new insights into the composition and mechanical properties of soot. This breakthrough contributes to a deeper understanding of the behaviour of soot particles in combustion processes.

“I’m deeply grateful for this recognition and would like to thank my co-authors and the Institute of Physics and the Combustion Physics Group for this honour. We are looking forward to more groundbreaking research in the future!” said Prof Kraft.

In addition to a certificate from the Institute of Physics, the researchers also received a £250 prize.


The paper related to this research is “Exploring the internal structure of soot particles using nanoindentation: A reactive molecular dynamics study” (DOI: 10.1016/j.combustflame.2020.04.029) published in Combustion and Flame.

This research was funded by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore under its Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) programme.

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