Author: Editorial Team

Jenny Malmström on RadioNZ

Associate Investigator Jenny Malmstrom talks to RadioNZ about stem cells, implants and materials science. Read more

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Sep
04

Women in Nanoscience

In the light of the MacDiarmid regional lecture series we gathered some pieces where women in Nanoscience tell their stories: Dr Carla Meledandri Professor Cather Simpson

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Professor Cather Simpson

Professor Cather Simpson MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigator and Professor at University of Auckland. Tell us a fact no one knows about you I was the only girl alongside 299 boys in the under-15 baseball league and I played second base for the championship team Anything else? My entire scientific career is based on a bet […]

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Aug
28

Dr Carla Meledandri

MacDiarmid Principal Investigator Dr Carla Meledandri runs a busy chemistry lab at the University of Otago, specialising in nanoscale materials. Back in 2011 she and her collaborator, Dr Don Schwass from the Faculty of Dentistry, had an inkling her research could lend itself to potential commercial applications using nanosilver for dentistry. After being awarded an […]

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AMN8: The Solar Revolution

Oxford Prof Henry Snaith and VUW Assoc Prof Justin Hodgkiss discuss ‘The Solar Revoluation’ to the Royal Society in Wanaka, February 2017

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AMN8: Women in Nanoscience

Women in Nanoscience talk  about their lives and work at the AMN8 Women in Nanoscience panel, February 2017

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Aug
11

Mapping our Spin-outs, and other stories – read our 2016 Annual Report

The MacDiarmid Institute 2016 Annual Report    0.1 Director’s report 0.2 Chair’s report 1.1 Materials to combat our changing climate 1.2 Tomorrow’s Computers 1.3 Every atom counts 1.4 Nanotech at the heart of medicine 1.5 Materials stars 1.6 Emeritus Investigators 2.1 Bridging the gap 2.2 Mapping our spin-outs 3.1 Extending our engagement – taking Kōrero […]

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Director’s report

Director’s report When the MacDiarmid Institute was first conceived, it was with a vision of science excellence; a vision that would bring together the best researchers in materials science in order to create research of a standard and excellence beyond what could be achieved by these researchers alone.  I don’t know whether even Sir Paul […]

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Chair’s report

Chair’s report 2016 has seen the new leadership team settle into their roles. I have been pleased to see the way the wider MacDiarmid Institute has supported them in this. The New Zealand materials science community is small, but the Institute delivers scale, making our researchers internationally competitive. I am encouraged by the efforts of […]

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Materials to combat our changing climate

Reinventing catalysts, one atom at a time Our planet is struggling on many fronts. Populations are booming, freshwater supplies are polluted and deforestation is widespread. We’re burning more fuel and using more energy than at any other point in history, and poor air quality is heralding a global health crisis. But, across the world, scientists […]

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A revolution in computing—driven by a new breed of materials

Tomorrow’s computers When the first powerful computers began to appear during World War II, they were viewed solely as military tools. No-one could have predicted that within 40 years, computers would become so compact that you could fit one onto a desk. Fast-forward to today, and around 90% of New Zealanders now own a smartphone; […]

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Every atom counts

Every atom counts Look around you. If you can see it with your naked eye, it is part of the macroscopic world. This world includes everything from the food you eat and the car you drive, to the furniture you sit on or the building you are in. Humans have long been masters of manipulating […]

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Nanotech – at the heart of medicine

Nanotech at the heart of medicine  The pace of change in modern medicine has been staggering. Diseases that once killed millions have now been eradicated, and treatments for diseases have never been more effective. The 21st century comes with its own challenges, though–a higher life expectancy brings an increased burden of age-related diseases. Global populations […]

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Materials stars

New Investigators   Penny Brothers New MacDiarmid Principal Investigator and University of Auckland Chemist, Professor Penny Brothers, is building novel molecules as building blocks for light-absorbing components of solar cells and magnetic materials.    Anna Garden New MacDiarmid Associate Investigator and University of Otago Chemist and winner of a 2016 Marsden grant, Dr Anna Garden, […]

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Emeritus Investigators

Emeritus Investigators When it comes to science there’s often a focus on the ‘new’; the most current, the latest (research, funds, etc). It can be easy to forget how success is built on the ongoing support of others. Few of the achievements of the MacDiarmid would be possible without the people who worked for years […]

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Bridging the gap—translating science into commerce

Bridging the gap—translating science into commerce Dr Carla Meledandri MacDiarmid Principal Investigator Dr Carla Meledandri runs a busy chemistry lab at the University of Otago, specialising in nanoscale materials. Back in 2011 she and her collaborator, Dr Don Schwass from the Faculty of Dentistry, had an inkling her research could lend itself to potential commercial […]

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Mapping our spin-outs

Stage 1 Product gains industry recognition and an increased public profile. Potential to attract early investment/partnering with business mentors.    Lab   Spot Check (a collaboration between Principal Investigators and The University of Auckland Professors Jadranka Travas-Sejdic and David Williams), uses materials science to provide low-cost, on-the-spot detection of DNA signatures of infectious and chronic […]

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Extending our engagement – taking Kōrero to the next level

House of Science and the Nanogirl show  Sometimes an idea comes along that is so successful that you want to take it to the next level. This is what happened with the MacDiarmid Institute’s Kōrero with Scientists workshops, where teachers and MacDiarmid scientists spend two hours exploring basic physical science concepts like magnets, light, and […]

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Reaching out to physics teachers

Reaching out to physics teachers For most of us, teaching physics to anybody would be hard (if not impossible) at the best of times. But imagine trying to teach physics to a class of Year 13 students if you yourself had little university physics training.  Unfortunately this is the reality for more than half of […]

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Enriching the PhD and Postdoc experience

Enriching the PhD and Postdoc experience   Training PhD and Postdoctoral students is a big part of our work and in 2016 we initiated an annual ‘Spring Development Programme’, a multi-day student workshop.  Deputy Director Justin Hodgkiss explains.  “Our students were ending up with great science credentials but lacking key skills that would influence their […]

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Honouring our origins-the Paul Callaghan story

Honouring our origins—the Paul Callaghan story MacDiarmid Institute funding has been pivotal in helping bring about the first documentary about Sir Paul Callaghan. Sir Paul, who established the MacDiarmid Institute and was the Institute’s first Director, played a major role in New Zealand as a scientist, environmentalist, public commentator, lecturer and mentor. Director/producer Shirley Horrocks […]

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Building a new science audience-partnering with The Spinoff

Building a new science audience—partnering with The Spinoff   The Spinoff Science: We are delighted to have been able to help The Spinoff set up a science section—for the chance to get lively-written science stories in front of The Spinoff’s young and engaged (and growing) audience. The science section has also given us the opportunity […]

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Clustering for impact

Clustering for impact   The Cluster Symposium 2016 took place in Christchurch on 28-29 November 2016. The scientific programme spanned full two days and included eight sessions on cluster-related science. Talks covered experimental research in physics and chemistry as well as computational/theoretical work in the areas of both fundamental and applied cluster science. 

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MESA bootcamp – an adventurous academic experience

MESA bootcamp—an adventurous academic experience   The MacDiarmid Emerging Scientists Association (MESA) ran its fifth annual three-day ‘bootcamp’—–an ‘adventurous academic experience in a remote location’ at the Forest and Bird Lodge on Mt Ruapehu. This year the camp explored instrumentation and other advanced equipment for new materials research. MacDiarmid Associate Investigator Dr Jenny Malstrӧm joined […]

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Students share their science—MESA 3-min video competition

Students share their science—MESA 3-min video competition This year the MacDiarmid Emerging Students Association (MESA) challenged MacDiarmid students and researchers to produce a three minute long video clip presenting their research to the general public (on a level that could be enjoyed and understood by a curious teenager). The panel of judges—–Toby Manhire (The Spinoff), […]

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The science of stuff we use to make things

The science of stuff we use to make things   In 2016 MacDiarmid Investigators again traveled to six regional centres in New Zealand to deliver public science lectures. A Materials History of the World covered materials history both within western science and from the perspective of indigenous Pacific materials heritage and culture and looked to […]

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Discovering nanoscience

The MacDiarmid team inspired us, as Maori and Pacific youth, to get out there and keep discovering—the possibilities are endless. Our NanoCamp and DiscoveryCamp continue to attract high numbers of applications from Year 12 and 13 secondary students. This year, 10 times as many students applied for NanoCamp as there were places, and four times […]

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Internationally engaged

Perhaps one of the best validations for our science is the number and calibre of international scientists and universities wishing to collaborate.   We have formal Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with the Australian National Fabrication Facility and the Centre for Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology in Australia and in 2016 signed an MoU with the […]

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MacDiarmid Institute business scholarships for alumni

The MacDiarmid Institute is offering a limited number of competitive scholarships for alumni to undertake further postgraduate study in business-related areas.  These could be short or long-term courses.   This call is open to alumni who completed their PhD or postdoctoral fellowship under the supervision of a MacDiarmid Institute investigator.   These scholarships can be […]

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Jul
12

MacDiarmid Alumni News – start-ups, rocket launches and more

A new line of news articles that address the stories of MacDiarmid alumni is launched and can be found here or among the Newsroom categories above.   Picture Source: Nasa

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Dr Bhuvana Kannan

Revolution Fibres Ltd is a world leading nanofibre production company based in Auckland developing products for air filtration, skincare, acoustics, composites and much more.  It’s where MacDiarmid Institute alumni Dr Bhuvana Kannan works as Research & Innovation Manager   Dr Bhuvana studied chemistry on a MacDiarmid PhD under MacDiarmid PIs and Professors Jadranka Travas Sejdic and David […]

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Dr Harry Warring

When Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket made it to space on 25 May 20017 it also made it into headlines all around the world. The successful launch was the first orbital-class rocket launched from a private launch site in the world.    Rocket Lab has also launched the career of MacDiarmid Alumni Harry Warring, who now […]

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Dr Andrew Preston

MacDiarmid alumni Andrew Preston’s start-up company Publons was acquired by Clarivate Analytics on 1 June 2017. Dr Preston, who started the company in 2012 with colleague Daniel Johnston, studied on a MacDiarmid Institute PhD scholarship (2007-2009) under MacDiarmid PI Associate Professor Ben Ruck.  Preston and Johnston set up Publons to incentivise peer review by giving […]

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Jun
27

Tell me about your Thesis

MacDiarmid Institute PhD student Leo Browning manipulates nano-wires to make neural networks that behave like living neurons. His thesis focuses on the production of nanowire based neural networks and methods for their application in sensor and logic devices, and integrating networks to tune their behaviour.The long-term goal for this research is to explore electronics that […]

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May
11

Industry speed-dating – video and media coverage

The Interface Industry Challenge is a new joint initiative conceived by the MacDiarmid Institute and the Dodd-Walls Centre, under which scientists from two Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs) tackle real world problems faced by New Zealand companies. “We wanted to extend our partnerships with industry. Asking industry to set problems for the Dodd-Walls Centre and […]

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Nanodiamonds may replace common techniques to administer drugs

Amanda Barnard, speaker at AMN8 Queenstown, works on how nanodiamonds may be used to control where and how much of a drug is administered within the human body. Read more

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AMN8 Outreach

680 secondary school students came along to hear and be inspired by David Leigh in Christchurch. An enthusiastic crowd of 200 people turned up to listen to Henry Snaith and Justin Hodgkiss at the Royal Society in Wanaka. Shotover Primary School kids loved having Albert Folch along, teaching science through soccer. The Women in Science […]

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Mar
24

TV clip – women nanoscientists at AMN8

Channel 39 clip features women nanoscientists at AMN8 – ‘Scientists flock to Queenstown for biggest conference in Southern Hemisphere’. Read more

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Nanoparticles may be used as drug carriers within the human body

Silvia Giordani, speaker at AMN8 Queenstown, works on nanoparticles and their medical applications. Read more

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The MacDiarmid Institute faciliates the New Zealand nano-revolution

Director of the MacDiarmid Institute, Professor Thomas Nann, associate Professor Justin Hodgkiss, and post-doctoral fellow Dr Renee Goreham give an overview over the MacDiarmid Institute’s research activities. Read more

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Mar
22

AMN8: Molecular machines

David Leigh, plenary speaker at AMN8 Queenstown, builds machines that can work on the scale of DNA sized molecules. Read more He also talked to RadioNZ about these ‘molecular machines’. Read more       Here he works his magic on students from Burnside High School and other Christchurch schools.     Picture Source: University of […]

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Mar
22

AMN8: From science to spinoff companies

Associate Professor Justin Hodgkiss shares his experiences in founding a company based on research that was conducted in his group. Read more

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Mar
22

AMN8: Science for kids

During his visit of AMN8 Queenstown, Bioengineer Albert Folch tried to catch interest in science of local children. Read more Picture Source: TheSpinoff.co.nz

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AMN8: Unfolding of proteins

Professor Colin Raston, speaker at AMN8 Queentown, talks about how the ‘Vortex Fluid Device’ may unfold proteins. Read more

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Mar
22

AMN8: Silver nano particles in gel solution to fight tooth decay

Dr Carla Meledandri, principal investigator of the MacDiarmid Institute at the University of Otago, has found a way to use charged antibacterial silver nanocomposite structures ‘to sterilise dentine prior to the placement of a dental restorative material’ (publication). Read more

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Mar
22

Searching for high temperature superconductors

Superconductors already have various applications (electromagnets, digital circuits, particle detectors) but would be even more usefull if they operated at higher temperatures. They would be a revolution to power grids and how power is generated and distributed around the world. And they would make all other current applications cheaper and safer. Ben Mallett, research fellow at the University of […]

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Mar
22

AMN8: Conductive polymers may serve as power source

Rachel Segalman, speaker at AMN8 Queenstown, talks about the thermoelectric potential of polymers. Due to their inherent thermal conductivity, polymers might generate power through external heat gradients. The process also works in reverse so that they may be used as heaters or refrigerators, too. Read more Picture source: Segelman Group Website 

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Mar
22

AMN8: Perovskite solar cells might surpass current Silicon technology

Professor Henry Snaith, plenary speaker at AMN8 Queenstown, has a vision of how Perovskites shape the future of photovoltaic power generation. Read more Professor Snait also spoke about Perovskites on RadioNZ. Read more Rebecca Sutton and Jesse Allardice, former Victoria University of Wellington students and now PhD students at Oxford and Cambridge, also talk about how […]

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Mar
22

AMN8 Queenstown: Women in Science panel

Three female nanoscientists discuss their lives and work at the ‘AMN8 Trio – Women in Science panel’ – a public engagement event held in Queenstown during AMN8 in February 2017. Read more

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Mar
22

Coatings of nanopillars may double the speed of ships

MacDiarmid Institute International Science Advisory Board member Professor Thomas Schimmel spoke to Jesse Mulligan at RadioNZ about the Salvinia fern and how its properties might enable them to build ‘ships that will never get wet’. Read more Picture Source: Wikipedia

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Vision Matauranga – Workshop at Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Village

MacDiarmid PI and GNS scientist Andreas Markwitz has organised an international workshop at Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Village focussing on ion beam analysis in commercial environments. GNS has been working with Rototua’s Whakarewarewa Village since 2014, using ion beam analysis to explore air quality issues and the implications of polluted air. Rotorua Daily Post

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Oct
18

MI Investigators successful in MBIE Endeavour Round 2016 & Smart Ideas

12 of our Investigators were successful in MBIE 2016 Endeavour Round.

MacDiarmid Investigators are involved in both ‘Smart Ideas’ and ‘Research Programmes’. 

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Aug
31

Peter Murmu talks about his experience with the MacDiarmid Institute

Dr Peter Murmu was an MSc student at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay when he was offered a PhD scholarship from GNS Science and Victoria University of Wellington. He says he was drawn to New Zealand in part because it was the birthplace of Ernest Rutherford. “I had heard about New Zealand before […]

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Aug
11

MacDiarmid Investigators Cather Simpson and David Williams discuss how materials science is changing the way farmers analyse milk – Our Changing World

MacDiarmid Investigators Cather Simpson and David Williams discuss how materials science is changing the way farmers analyse milk – Our Changing World Listen to the Podcast on RadioNZ

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Jul
23

MacDiarmid Institute supports tech-transfer with new Internship

For most new companies, getting the right staff on board is important.  For high-tech start-up companies, it is vital. The smooth transfer of technology from a research institution can be a challenge for a new company. This was a problem facing Hi-Aspect, a new MacDiarmid start-up that had developed protein-based nanomaterial for use in skincare […]

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Jul
05

MacDiarmid scientists win at KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards

Associate Professor Simpson, a Principal Investigator with the MacDiarmid Institute, won the Supreme Award at the KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards on 30 June. She also won her section – the Baldwins Researcher Entrepreneur Award. MacDiarmid Institute Director Professor Thomas Nann said the Institute was seeing dynamic and innovative research being translated into high commercial value. […]

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Jul
05

MacDiarmid and Dodd-Walls Investigator wins KiwiNet Supreme Award

The Directors of the two Centres of Research Excellence, the MacDiarmid Institute and the Dodd-Walls Centre, today both congratulated Associate Professor Cather Simpson on winning the Supreme Award at the KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards last night. Associate Professor Simpson is a Principal Investigator with both Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs).  She also won her section […]

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Jul
05

MacDiarmid Investigator wins at KiwiNet Awards

The Director of the MacDiarmid Institute today congratulated MacDiarmid Principal Investigator Dr Carla Meledandri on winning the ‘Norman F. Barry Trust Emerging Innovator Award’ at the KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards 2016 last night. The KiwiNet ‘Norman F. Barry Trust Emerging Innovator Award’ recognises an entrepreneurial researcher who has made outstanding contributions to business innovation or […]

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Jun
09

Materials science is all around us – Annual Report 2015

  Materials Science is Everywhere From the touchscreen on your mobile to the magnets in your laptop, materials science is everywhere. And MacDiarmid scientists have been nearly everywhere too – from dairy sheds to an angel investor forum and into classrooms. Read more in our Annual Report 2015 Or read our stories here: Out of the […]

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Jun
02

Engender Technology wins in AgTech, World Cup Tech Challenge

The Directors of the two Centres of Research Excellence, the MacDiarmid Institute and the Dodd-Walls Centre, today both congratulated Associate Professor Cather Simpson on her company winning the AgTech section of the World Cup Tech Challenge in Silicon Valley.  Associate Professor Simpson is a Principal Investigator with both Centres of Research Excellence.  The Director of […]

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May
24
May
24

Cather Simpson’s start-up company Engender Technology shortlisted for the World Cup Tech Challenge

New Zealand tech start-up company named as finalist for World Cup Tech Challenge led by MacDiarmid Institute and Dodd-Walls Centre Principal Investigator, 14 May 2016 Listen to the Cather’s interview with Kim Hill on Saturday Mornings at RadioNZ: Vote here The MacDiarmid Institute and Dodd-Walls Centre congratulated Associate Professor Cather Simpson, a Principal Investigator in […]

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Mar
22

Teamwork facilitates a detailed pressure-induced spin crossover study

Our team around Principal Investigator Sally Brooker, Associate Investigator Geoff Jameson and Emeritus Investigator Jeff Tallon took on the challange and investigated a first row transition metal complex upon their spin states under the influence of external stimuli such as pressure and temperature. When the ligand field in octahedral d4-d7 first row transition metal complexes […]

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Feb
24

Building electronics atom by atom

Victoria University of Wellington has unveiled a unique piece of equipment used to make everyday electronics by layering atoms on top of each other very precisely. The research equipment—Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE)—creates solid materials by depositing atom by atom, and is the only system of its kind in New Zealand. Victoria’s School of Chemical and […]

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Feb
24

MacDiarmid students presenting at ICONN 2016

Bringing together New Zealand’s and Australian’s nanotechnology research, several members of our Institute presented at the International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 2016, held in Canberra. Below is a small summary of Christoph Hasenöhrl, one of our Ph.D. students how he experienced the conference. “The MacDiarmid Institute gave me the unique opportunity to travel overseas […]

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Feb
11

New 2016 Chair MESA

Shyamal Prasad is part of the Justin Hodgkiss group at Victoria University doing ultrafast laser spectroscopy. They focus on understanding how charges (electricity) is generation in next-generation photovoltaics. With this understanding he hopes to push solar energy production to its next level. His area of interest are organic photovoltaics, data analysis, and ultrafast (transient absorption) […]

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Jan
28

Māori and Pasifika students discovering passion for science

A group of talented Māori and Pasifika pupils from around the country descended on Victoria University of Wellington last week to get a taste of tertiary-level science. From 18-22 January five secondary school pupils with an interest in science participated in the Discovery Awards, sponsored by the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. The […]

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Jan
28

Discovery Awards

Discovery Awards are sponsored by the MacDiarmid Institute, and give high school students a residential laboratory experience at either Victoria University or the University of Auckland, and aims to encourage the pupils to continue on to university study.

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Jan
27

Nanocamp

Nanocamp is an annual summer programme run by the MacDiarmid Institute to introduce high school students to nanoscience and advanced materials.

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Jan
27

Happy campers at NanoCamp 2015

Fifteen of New Zealand’s brightest high school science pupils from across the country spent a week in Wellington getting an introduction to nanoscience and advanced materials during NanoCamp 2015. The annual camp, sponsored by the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology and held for the sixth year, introduces year 12 and 13 pupils to […]

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Nov
20

AMN9 Conference

Queenstown 11-14 February 2019 AMN8 is the ninth in our biennial series of meetings that focus on the latest research in advanced materials and nanotechnology. The event will continue the very best traditions of previous events, including a range of high-impact plenary presentations, cutting-edge invited and contributed talks, interactive poster presentations and convivial social events. […]

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Nov
16

Pitch on a Peak – NZ tech investments

New Zealand hosted a major event in the technology investment world this month, with the Asian Business Angels Forum 2015 taking place in Queenstown (October 14-16). The forum drew over 150 angel investors from around the world. A centrepiece was ‘Pitch on a Peak’ – a showcase of NZ tech investment opportunities ranging from early […]

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Oct
19

MacDiarmid Institute Postdoctoral Fellowships

The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology is New Zealand’s premier research organisation concerned with high quality research and research education in materials science and nanotechnology. Postdoctoral fellowships are now open across our partner institutions. Successful candidates will be a member of the MacDiarmid Institute, a national Centre of Research Excellence which provides collaborative opportunities […]

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Oct
12

Nanoscale melting: how size changes thermodynamic stabiility

The properties of nanomaterials change in a number of different ways, some of which are predictable, while others can be quite surprising! Nanoparticles usually melt at lower temperatures than the bulk material, due to the reduced stability of atoms at the surface. This paradigm – called melting point depression – has been challenged by experimental […]

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