Islam, Professor Saiful

Professor Saiful Islam

Professorial Fellow and Statutory Chair in Materials Science


Social media: Twitter @SaifulChemistry

Academic background

Saiful grew up in Crouch End, north London and obtained his Chemistry degree and PhD (1988) from University College London (with Richard Catlow FRS), followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Eastman Kodak Labs in New York, USA. He returned to the UK to the University of Surrey and was then appointed Professor of Materials Chemistry at the University of Bath in 2006, before joining Oxford in 2022.

Saiful presented the prestigious 80th anniversary Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in 2016 for BBC TV on the theme of energy (attracting 3.8 million viewers). He is a Patron of Humanists UK and when not exploring new materials, he enjoys family breaks (as a dad of two), football, films and indie music.

Research interests

Saiful’s research interests encompass major contributions to the deeper understanding of atomistic processes in energy materials, especially those related to lithium batteries and perovskite solar cells. Recent efforts have focused on new cathodes for lithium-ion batteries, on solid electrolytes for lithium and sodium solid-state batteries, and on understanding the behaviour of novel perovskite solar cell materials.

Research website:


Saiful’s research has been recognised with a number of awards including the 2020 American Chemical Society Award in Energy Chemistry, the 2017 Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Peter Day Award for Materials Chemistry and the 2013 Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit award. With the RSC in 2021, he regained the Guinness World Record for the highest voltage (2,307 V) from a lemon battery!

Recent Publications

List of publications: