Energy Objective 2: Sustainability

The development of metal-organic frameworks will allow us to create new materials capable of gas storage and remediation; this major international challenge will lead to high impact science and leading edge training. The 6 year science specific high-level impacts for this objective are: A platform of porous materials capable of storing methane, purifying natural gas […]

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Energy Objective 1: Solar Photovoltaics

The understanding of photovoltaics combined with the development of new materials and realisation of new fabrication technologies will allow us to contribute to this major international challenge and provide high impact results and leading edge training for our graduate students. The 6 year science specific high-level impacts for this objective are: New printable organic, quantum […]

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Objective 3: Modelling the behaviour of new and emergent materials.

Hand in hand with these experimental investigations into materials we have theoretical and modelling projects where the dreams of materials with unconventional excitations can be realised in Objective 3. It is very efficient and achievable to explore the parameter space of electronics and optics with computer based models. Questions about how the input nanoscale structure […]

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Objective 2: New Frontiers in spin polarised & superconducting materials

Within Objective 2 materials that have technological applications in superconductivity and magnetism will be explored. Here a common theme is enhanced performance of a device through management of the spin of its constituent electrons. There are amazing new applications and significant performance enhancements to the digital logic of electronics, if only the up and down […]

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Objective 1: Nano-engineered surfaces for tailored electronic and optical properties

Research in Objective 1 has the common theme that surfaces of materials have the power to harm or hinder the performance of an electronic system. Through understanding the causes we will be able to control the characteristics to find exciting new science or realise a commercial function. For example, we will use the interface between […]

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Objective 2: Tools for the Nanoscale

“Tools for the Nanoscale” is concerned with developing a set of novel tools and measurement platforms specifically to explore the mechanical properties of soft interfaces and how these translate into response and control of living cells. The tools will be used to explore the properties of the structures we make and to provide design data […]

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Objective 1: Synthesis and Assembly

The first objective in our Functional nanostructures science area “Synthesis and Assembly”, is directed at making the basic functional units then assembling these into the hierarchically-organised multi-functional product. This objective requires research on the assembly of macromolecules, both natural and synthetic, and the way in which such assemblies can organise smaller molecules that carry the […]

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Nov
10

Materials for High Value Technologies

Materials Century Demands High Value Products – an introduction to Materials for High Value Technologies with Science Leader Professor Roger Reeves. The landscape for New Zealand’s High Value Manufacturing (HVM) sector will be energised by research on new materials that create economic value, and provide solutions to social and environmental challenges. An embedded culture of […]

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Nov
10

Materials for Energy Capture and Utilisation

Energy for the future – an introduction to Materials for energy capture and utilisation with Science Leader Professor Keith Gordon. New technologies specifically targeted to solar energy capture and new materials that will move us towards realising a sustainable future will be in development. Overview and Summary of Goals Materials technology for energy harvesting and […]

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Nov
10

Functional Nanostructures

Bridging the gap – an introduction to Functional nanostructures, with Science Leader Professor Juliet Gerrard. Materials, with designs inspired by, or manufactured using, biology will be created and used in, for example, photovoltaic materials, medicine, medical technologies, diagnostics, bioseparations, sensors and drug delivery. Creation of these new functional nanostructured materials with their enhanced capabilities will […]

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Do you have your why? Your big goal? And can you use it to capture and share passion?

The what you would ultimately like to come from all of yours and maybe many others efforts? What is your goal that you can share with others in such a way that they would think that your research is important and interesting and allow them to share in your passion, even if it is just […]

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Bottom-Up Soft Engineering

In the spirit of traditional condensed matter physics, this Objective focuses on understanding how the macroscopic properties of soft materials emerge from the chemical composition of, and the interactions between, the molecular components. We study the organisation of proteins into higher order assemblies, building on our successful manufacture of protein nanotubes (fibrils) from readily available […]

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Interacting with the Animate

This objective concerns manipulations and measurements of single biological cells within controlled, specific micro and nano-environments. We have particular interest in examining the responses of biological cells to lithographically-defined surfaces and materials. The interactions of cells with bio-imprinted patterns, used as secondary culture platforms, can be explored – it is found that the cell morphology […]

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Transport in the Nanoworld

Understanding of nanofluidics has the potential to revolutionise the way in which particle sensing and analysis, and ultimately molecular biology, is done. We seek to manipulate transport of fluid and particles in and around micro- to nano-scale devices, individual pores and porous materials. We use elastomeric tunable nanopores to study a wide range of interesting […]

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Biology on-the-Fly

Ultra-sensitive spectroscopy – with special emphasis on single molecule Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering – will continue to grow from the recent successes in the application of the technique to reveal new aspects of the physics of isolated molecules (especially those of biological interest) on surfaces. Among recent developments, our group has demonstrated the possibility of […]

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Nanomaterials for Biological Applications

We use multidisciplinary approaches to develop magnetic nanoparticles, quantum dots (QDs) and silver nanoparticles for biomedical applications. Magnetic nanoparticles (including superparamagnetic nanoparticles) of well-defined shape are being developed with  Carla Meledandri. We are investigating their magnetic resonance properties in suspension, and their potential as MRI contrast agents to improve cancer detection. The question of how […]

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Jan
08

Bionano/Nanobio and Soft Matter

The disciplines of bionanotechnology, nanobiotechnology, and soft matter coalesce within this Research Theme. Biological systems can act as an inspiration, elegantly harnessing the special physics of the nano-world to perform ‘bottom-up’ processing with aplomb, generating smart, functional, viscoelastic matrices: from molecules to materials. Biology can also be the end-goal, with multidisciplinary teams driving towards applications […]

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Structural properties of materials at the nanoscale (Reeves, Gaston)

The difference between trapping by tunnelling through the bandgap barriers and trapping at defect sites will be investigated. The results will contribute to understanding charge transport properties in wide-band gap optical materials. Our theoretical insight will also be applied to calculate the structures of metallic systems from first-principles, developing new techniques that enable us to […]

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Advanced Materials for Energy and Industry (Brown(I), Kemmitt, MacKenzie)

The research will design and develop new inorganic nano- and microstructures in ceramic and metal hybrid materials through precise control of chemical and electrochemical fabrication techniques.  This will provide new materials to benefit New Zealand’s ceramic export industry and will provide new approaches to the use of renewable energy resources, notably hydrogen and solar. In […]

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Advanced Natural Fibre and Polymer Hybrid Materials (Johnston, MacKenzie)

The work will involve the incorporation and binding of metal nanoparticles, notably Au, Ag, Pd and related compounds onto and into natural fibres to provide nano-functionalisation and to fabricate nano-structured surfaces. Achieving control of the particle size and shape, self assembly and the chemical bonding of the respective nanomaterials to the fibre substrate will be […]

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Nanostructured Materials for Applications in Catalysis (Golovko, Kemmitt, Brown(I), Johnston, Tilley, Telfer and others)

The chemical reactivity of the nano-structured catalysts will be explored with a focus on revealing structure-property relationships, particularly on how size, chemical composition and morphology of the nanoparticles affect their performance as catalysts. Their catalytic activity and selectivity will be investigated in relation to partial, selective oxidation under benign conditions, photocatalytic degradation of pollutants and […]

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Functionalised surfaces (Travas-Sejdic, Downard, Hall, Williams(D))

Our work focuses in three areas: i) Optimisation of new approaches for grafting nanoscale organic layers on conducting and non-conducting surfaces and development of methods for patterning the layers and exploiting their reactivity. The approach under study relies on the generation of radicals which attack and bind to the substrate, resulting in strong and stable […]

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Organising protein fibrils (nanotubes) into higher order assemblies (Gerrard, Downard, Williams(D), Travas-Sejdic, Blaikie)

With collaborators in other Theme areas (particularly Themes 1 and 5), we will develop methods for organizing the fibrils into higher order structures and will explore the properties of the new materials.  

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Manipulation of Individual Biological Cells (Evans, Alkaisi, Williams(D), Partridge)

Novel physical technologies will be used for studying biological systems, and exocytosis in cancer cells will be studied using the biochip and BioImprint technologies we have developed.   Additionally, a new project has been established to investigate how cells interact with micro/nano patterns made of biocompatible materials. An investigation that will lead to bioactive/biocompatible coatings […]

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Shape and size control of nanocrystals for biomedical applications (Tilley, Williams(D), Hendy)

We are part of a multidisciplinary team developing magnetic nanoparticles and quantum dots (QDs) for biomedical applications.  We propose to extend the liquid phase synthesis of QDs to new materials containing silicon and germanium.  Biomolecules, such as antibodies, will be attached to the QD surface with the aim of targeted delivery of drugs to disease […]

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Tunable Nanopores for Genomics and Diagnostics (Willmott, Partridge, Tallon, Etchegoin, Tilley)

This objective aims to develop applications for tunable nanopores in collaboration with Izon Science, a Christchurch nanotechnology startup.  A long-term goal is to achieve sequential detection of bases on RNA or DNA segments as they pass through a nanopore. To do this, tunable nanopores are being studied in combination with plasmonic noble metal particles and […]

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Identifying new design parameters for organic semiconductors using spectroscopy and computational chemistry (Hodgkiss, Gordon)

Our goal is to elucidate the molecular underpinnings of effective solar cell materials. We employ Raman spectroscopy coupled with computational chemistry to interrogate the electronic structure and optical behaviour of sensitizers for dye-sensitised solar cells. We are developing new ways to probe the dynamics and mechanism of photocurrent generation in polymer solar cells using sensitive ultrafast optical spectroscopy.   Our […]

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Metallosupramolecular materials (Telfer, Brooker)

One specific focal point is synthesis and characterisation of molecules with interesting magnetic phenomena, such as spin crossover and single-molecule magnet behaviour. In work underway, we are using our expertise in macrocyclic chemistry to investigate a new approach to controlled preparation of single molecule magnets. A second focus of work in this objective is preparation and […]

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Molecular basis of the properties soft materials: (Callaghan, McGrath, Williams(B), Hendy)

Uniquely powerful state-of-the-art experimental tools built on pioneering research in rheo-NMR, the amalgamation of nuclear magnetic resonance and its capacity for molecular insight, with rheology, the science of mechanical deformation, provide the opportunity to monitor molecular properties and macroscopic consequences concurrently. Furthermore, recently developed diffusion-correlation, -exchange and -spectral-analysis methods have proven powerful in measuring bilayer […]

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Nano- and micro- fluidics and porous media (Callaghan, Hendy, Williams (B))

These methods will be combined with rapid micro-imaging based on rapid scan echo planar techniques, in order to investigate spatial heterogeneity. Additionally, combined spin-relaxation and gradient diffusion methods will be developed to investigate molecular dynamics using multi-dimensional NMR based on novel inverse Fourier and inverse Laplace methods.  Flow in nanochannels is also being studied using […]

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Ultra-sensitive laser spectroscopy (Etchegoin, LeRu, Tilley)

Current work is expanding on this success by investigating SERS for more complex multiple-particle nanostructure geometries. We have also expanded now into subtler aspects of single-molecule detection, like the demonstration of isotopic variations in single molecule spectra and the possibility of observing single molecules in basic geometries involving controllable enhancements. The work has been complemented […]

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Biomimetic materials (McGrath, Williams(B))

Nature controls the precipitation of inorganic materials to high precision and, in doing so, manipulates their growth such that the final materials have superior physical (e.g. strength) and chemical properties (e.g. resistance to corrosion) as compared with similar mineral or synthetically grown materials. Investigations are underway into using soft interactions and traits inherent in soft […]

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Atomic- and molecular-scale self assembly for future nanodevices (Brown(S), Hendy)

Our lithography-based approach to nanofabrication is complemented by “bottom up” assembly of nano-devices using self-assembly techniques. The focus of ongoing work is a UHV STM study of the fundamental self-assembly processes of the important bismuth-on-graphite system, where we have demonstrated an ability to self-assemble a variety of nanostructures and to image them with atomic resolution. […]

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Next generation semiconductor materials and devices (Allen, Alkaisi, Markwitz, Zulicke, Blaikie)

These are rapidly gaining an international profile as highly functional materials with the potential to deliver “next generation” semiconductor devices in UV optoelectronics, transparent electronics for solar cells and displays, high frequency/high temperature power electronics, and in nanoarchitecture due to their dramatic range of spontaneous polarisation induced nanostructures. Our semiconductor fabrication expertise gives us the […]

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Theory and modelling of new functionality at the nanoscale (Zulicke, Governale, Hendy)

We plan to elucidate unconventional nanoelectronic properties of small systems arising from size quantisation, correlations, unconventional band structures, and spin-dependent effects. Microscopic modeling of material-growth processes at the nanoscale will be used to inform a more phenomenological description of relevant physical mechanisms. As any useful operation performed by a nanodevice will require time-dependent signals, we […]

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Optoelectronic properties of nanoscale and advanced materials (Ruck, Trodahl, Reeves, LeRu, Metson, Williams)

Several members of the rare-earth nitride series are known to be magnetic semiconductors, and we will measure their electrical conductivity and photoconductivity at room temperature and in their low-temperature magnetic phase. The results will be interpreted in terms of modern band structure calculations, and in terms of models of the crystalline defects in the materials. […]

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Superconducting and spin-dependent properties of novel materials (Tallon, Williams, Trodahl, Ruck)

We have a high-profile programme investigating high-temperature superconductors (HTS) and related materials. We focus on achieving a thermodynamic understanding of HTS by determining the pressure-, temperature-, doping- and ion-size-dependence of all the important energy and length scales pertinent to superconductivity using NMR, specific heat, Raman and muon spin relaxation. We also continue the search for […]

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Understanding electronic and optical properties of nanoparticles and nanostructures (Gaston, Kaiser, LeRu)

Further work will be aimed at understanding electronic transport in graphene, a new form of carbon, consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms that has many unique properties.  One focus will be graphene prepared by different techniques.  Finally, electronic structure calculations are used to characterise the development of metallicity in nanoscale metal clusters.  This […]

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Oct
03

Inorganic Hybrid Materials

The research activities of Theme 5 was to develop new inorganic hybrid materials whose hierarchy and synergistic combination of nano-, micro- and macro-scaled features will give rise to new chemical, physical and biological functionality to facilitate the next generation of advanced materials.  This Theme was incorporated into the new 4 Theme Structure in 2013. Theme […]

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Sub-wavelength patterning with interference lithography (Blaikie, Alkaisi)

Sub-wavelength patterning will be achieved using optical interference lithography (IL), to complement existing electron-beam, nano-imprint and near-field optical nanolithography techniques.  This will bring advantages of simplicity and the ability to pattern over large areas (~cm2), and we will use this technique to provide patterned substrates for other Institute research. Objective 1.  Sub-wavelength patterning with interference […]

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Oct
03

Soft Materials

Soft matter is where physics meets chemistry, and where physics and chemistry meet biology.  Biological systems elegantly harness the special physics of the nano-world and perform ‘bottom-up’ processing with aplomb, generating smart, functional, viscoelastic matrices: from molecules to materials. This Theme was combined with “The Intersection of Nanoscience and Biology” under the new 4 Theme […]

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Oct
03

The Intersection of Nanoscience and Biology

The biological, biomedical and medical applications of advanced materials and nanotechnology are some of the most exciting, novel and potentially, most life-enhancing.  This Theme was combined with Soft Materials under the new 4 Theme Structure in 2013 to form Bionano/Nanobio and Soft Matter. Understanding and exploiting the promise of biological systems is a complex and […]

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Oct
03

Nanofabrication and Devices

Whilst nanotechnology and the development of advanced materials are tremendously diverse topics, fabrication is the key for engineering devices from new materials.  Be it at the macroscale, the microscale or the nanoscale, the capability to pattern contacts or add structure to devices must be equally supported alongside materials developments and theoretical exploration of new device […]

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Oct
03

Electronic and Optical Materials

Conventional theories of the optical and electronic properties of materials assume electrons propagating independently in 3D crystals with a periodic array of atoms and uniform propagation of light. Many materials displaying novel or exploitable properties do not fit within these bounds. Examples include the optical properties of nanoparticles or nanoparticle assemblies, where light both scatters […]

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Oct
03

Molecular Materials

Molecular materials show promise for diverse applications and researchers in this theme have expertise in many of these, including: molecular magnets, solar energy and electroluminescent materials, sensors, catalysts and sorbents.  Such applications rely on single molecules or collections of molecules, in the form of 3-D structures or thin films, exhibiting specific functions. To design, synthesise, […]

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