In the coming few decades, two major global grand challenges will continue to attract the attention of scientists and engineers in academia and industry: achieving clean water and clean energy.
Prof. Taleb Mokariof the Department of Chemistry and the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology successfully submitted a proposal to the European Research Council to develop proofs of concept of a water oxidation catalyst and a water purification filter based on inexpensive, abundant and versatile hierarchical structures of inorganic nanomaterials (HSINs).
The formation of HSINs has been one of the major obstacles toward progressing technologically in a variety of applications. Presently, fabrication of well-defined 3-D structures can be achieved either by photo/electro lithography, assembly, 3D printing or template-mediated methods. While various structures with high quality/yield can be obtained through those techniques, these methods have considerable downsides: high cost, difficulty in fabricating free-standing structures, and sometime the throughput is limited. On the other hand, a template approach such as the one Mokari proposed is usually facile, low cost and offers the capability to build several complex structures, in particular the ones obtained from nature.
As a recipient of an ERC Grant, Mokari was eligible to submit a proposal for a Proof-of-Concept grant to move his research along from the lab to a prototype. Mokari was awarded a Starting Grant in 2011. In 2012, he was appointed a member of the “Young Academia” of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. In 2015, he won the Tenne Family Prize for Nanoscale Sciences.
In addition, he has received the Chorofas Award (2004), the Eshkol Scholarship from the Ministry of Science, Israel (2005-2007), the Intel-Dean Prize (2005), the Kaye Award for Innovation (2005), the Israel Chemical Society Award (2006), the Schlomiuk Prize for Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis (2007), the Fulbright Fellowship for Postdoctoral Studies (2006-2007), Ilan Ramon Fellowship for the best Fulbright Fellow (2007), the IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists (2006), Dean's honors for excellent researcher from the Faculty of Natural Sciences at BGU (2010), and a Ma’of Fellowship established by the Kahanoff Foundation (2011).