We are a multi-disciplinary and multinational group, working together to combine our collective knowledge and experiences in order to facilitate research of the highest quality. We also aim to provide a great group working experience for all involved – from undergraduate summer research students to post-doctoral researchers.

Dr Jonathan Foster

Dr Jonathan Foster (Jona – pronounced “John-ah”) graduated with an MChem from the University of Durham in 2008, where he also completed a PhD in the groups of Professor Jonathan Steed and Professor Judith Howard CBE FRS. He undertook post-doctoral positions at the University of Cambridge in the groups of Professor Jonathan Nitschke and Professor Anthony Cheetham FRS.

In 2015 he was awarded a Ramsay Memorial Trust Fellowship and the position of Vice Chancellors Fellow which he heldin the Department of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield where he is now a lecturer. Jona has experience working with a wide range of nano-structured and supramolecular materials including gels, polymers, cages and frameworks.


Prioti Choudhury Purba (2023-2025)

Prioti completed her bachelor’s degree from Jadavpur University followed by an M.Sc. in Chemistry from the Presidency University, Kolkata, India. She obtained her PhD degree from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore under the supervision of Prof. P. S. Mukherjee. Her research interest was on the design and synthesis of imidazole and NHC-based supramolecular coordination architectures and their applications. Now, in the Foster group, Prioti is working on the development of hydrogen and halogen-bonded nanosheets.

PhD students

Benedict Smith (2020-2024)

Benedict Smith was awarded his MSc with distinction in green chemistry and sustainable industrial technology by the University of York in 2020. In the same year, he begins study for his PhD at the University of Sheffield co-supervised by Dr Adrien Chauvet and Dr Jonathan Foster. His research is a joint synthetic and spectroscopic study of the enhancement of the selectivity of graphene-based sensors by the addition of metal organic nanosheets for the real-time detection of phosphate and other small molecules in soil.

Jiangtian Tan (2020-2024)

Jiangtian completed his MSc at the University of Sheffield, under the supervision of Dr Jonathan Foster. In 2020, he comes back to the Foster group as a PhD student, working on Mixed Matrix Membranes composed of MONs and porous polymers for water purification applications. In the same year, he joins the ​Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures​ (GCSF).

Sanyou Xu (2021-2025)

Sanyou obtained his master’s degree at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology before joining Jona’s group. He is now studying at the University of Sheffield as a PHD student under the supervision of Dr Jonathan Foster and Professor David Lidzey. His research focuses on modifying different 2D mons materials for making high-performance solar cells.

Alana Barlow (2022-2026)

Alana completed her MSc in the Foster group on the post-synthetic functionalisation of ZIF nanosheets. She has now returned to Sheffield to do a PhD, also under the supervision of Professor Nick Williams, focusing on using metal organic cages and nanosheets to catalyse reactions in water.

Master students


Alisha L Goodwin (2023-2024)

Alisha completed a placement with Johnson Matthey during her 3rd year at the University of Sheffield. As she progresses towards obtaining her intergrated master's degree, she will be focusing her research within the Foster's group. Her area of study will revolve around hydrogen bonded organic nanosheets.