MSE's own Prof. Zakaria Al Balushi has been highlighted as a "rising star of nanoscience" for his work in devising ways to produce next-generation nanomaterials. Prof. Al Balushi was interviewed for the Nature Index Report on Nanoscience/nanotechnology; which celebrates the institutions and individuals behind the rapidly growing research in this field which are enabling the design of new materials and devices. Prof. Al Balushi describes how his "unorthodox" synthesis approaches could improve manufacturing of 2D semiconductors for future applications.