Professor Shane Telfer

Shane Telfer

Professor Shane Telfer

Principal Investigator

Phone: (+64) 06 356 9099 ext: 84656

Postal Address:

Massey University
Private Bag 11 222
Palmerston North 4442

Shane Telfer was born in the town of Clyde in Central Otago, New Zealand. He completed a BSc(Hons) and a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Canterbury, and is now an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Massey University. This gradual drift northwards was punctuated by a post-doctoral odyssey that included stops in Geneva, Tokyo and Montreal. Shane has broad interests in synthetic chemistry and molecular materials.  The current focus of his research is the chemistry of metal-organic frameworks, a tremendously exciting new class of porous materials.


Research Interests

We currently focus on metal-organic frameworks, which are crystalline ‘molecular sponges’ that have applications in gas storage, separations and catalysis.  We are exploring new ways to design and synthesize these materials and to enhance their functional properties.  We also have a keen interest in synthesizing new chromophoric compounds for applications in photovoltaics.

Associated Content


MacDiarmid Institute’s Seventh International Conference Huge Success

This past week we have been in Nelson hosting our seventh international conference, attended by over 500 delegates and superbly organised by our Principal Investigator Shane Telfer (Massey University) and his team. In addition to the hundreds of science presentations we have been involved in a range of outreach activities during the week. This tradition […]


3D molecular sponges

Hydrogen has been touted as one alternative to fossil fuels, but for planes or even cars to run on hydrogen, the gas needs to be stored in large quantities. One method for storing hydrogen and other gases are materials called metal-organic frameworks (or MOFs), which are a bit like 3D molecular sponges or sieves. “The […]


Last thoughts for 2011

We have had a large number of successes this year, starting with Professor Sir Paul Callaghan (VUW) being named New Zealander of the Year which led straight into our biennial International conference.  This year the conference was held in Wellington and it was the largest of the five that we have held, bringing several hundred […]

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 […]

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 […]


Rigaku Spider X-ray Diffractometer

About the Instrument: This is an extremely versatile tool for determining the structure of crystalline materials, including small or weakly diffracting crystals. The combination of a very intense X-ray source, excellent optics and a curved image plate detector gives the instrument great versatility and sensitivity. “If it’s crystalline and we can see it under the […]


Transition Metals with Dr Shane Telfer

Our principal objectives are to devise interesting molecule-based materials and develop methods for their synthesis. These materials incorporate transition metals in both structural and functional roles. We have a particular fascination with chiral assemblies and materials. At a more detailed level, our two major focal points are: Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). These are MOFs are porous, […]


Public Lecture Series: The Energy Revolution

The age of fossil fuels is coming to an end.  Global warming from their burning is undeniable.  But when will tomorrow begin? Will there be a long transition period, with a mish-mash of renewables while we learn to harness the sun’s energy efficiently, as plants have been doing for 3.5 billion years?  Is there even enough sunlight […]


Luke Liu: Metal-Organic Frameworks

Story by Emma Timewell Luke Liu builds molecular sponges—known as metal-organic frameworks, or MOFs, these molecular sponges have the potential to store and separate industrial compounds such as hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide with high efficiency. The energy required to separate these compounds using current methods is high—for example, about a third of the power […]


Videos – Meet our scientists

During AMN-7 the Science Media Centre “SAVVY Express” team offered our Investigators and students targeted 15 minute sessions to practice speaking about their research on-camera, with feedback and training from a professional interviewer. The result is a series of seventeen interesting 90 second videos all of which are now available to watch via SMC’s Youtube channel, or you can […]

Conferring Continues With Collaborations

The AMN6 Conference may just have finished, but the convenor for AMN7 already has planning well underway for the next meeting.
  MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigator Dr Shane Telfer is looking forward to welcoming delegates to Nelson in February 2015, and is currently on the hunt for the high-profile keynote speakers that have proven a drawcard […]

Nanocamp at Massey University

A dozen senior high school students from around New Zealand converged on Massey University for the inaugural NanoCamp mid-January 2009. The event was funded by the MacDiarmid Institute, and a number of local PI’s and AI’s were involved. Shane Telfer marshalled the troops, and was joined by Bill Williams, Uli Zuelicke, Ashton Partridge, Mark Waterland […]

A Spirit of Collaboration

  In 2003, the MacDiarmid Institute was given a 10 million dollar grant from the Government’s education budget to spend on new equipment. It was a shower of rain after drought. Researchers finally had access to world class facilities and the Institute flourished. In four years the number of papers published more than tripled and […]

David and Goliath

  Jim Metson, Ashton Partridge, Richard Tilley and Shane Telfer formed part of a MoSRT-sponsored delegation to Japan in December 2007. Our brief was to explore collaborative opportunities between New Zealand and Japan in the field of nanotechnology. This builds on a bilateral cooperation MoU that was signed by MoRST and its Japanese counterpart in 2005. We visited […]

Being a PhD Student in New Zealand

  Raoul Peltier, France What degree are you doing?A PhD in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Auckland, supervised by Professors David Williams and Margaret Brimble. What is your research about?Antifreeze glycoproteins found in Antarctic fishes inhibit the growth of tiny ice crystals at cold temperatures. This allows the fish to survive in […]