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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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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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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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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Sep
22

Nano-LEGO® – assembling functional nanoparticles

Thomas Nann et al. Nanomaterials and their mesoscopic properties have fascinated many scientists in recent years. The general public associates Nanotechnology probably more with microscopic robots as depicted in Figure 1. Figure 1: Artistic view of a micro-submarine in a blood vessel. CONEYL JAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY To date, there is still a huge […]

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Sep
21

Electronic devices assembled by protein building blocks

Electronic devices assembled by protein building blocks Hodgkiss, Gerrard, Plank, et al Natural proteins have evolved amino acid sequences that adhere to each other with exceptional strength and specificity. In a highlight publication this month,1 a team of biologists, chemists, and physicists exploited such sequences to encode the assembly of electronic devices from hybrid materials. […]

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Jul
06
Jun
21

What Industry Wants

At certain times of year, usually when a grant round has been announced, academics will pick up the phone and ring people in industry to drum up support for their applications.

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Jun
21

Professor Alison Downard – Excellent leadership on an international stage

Part of a series of stories from the Public Annual Report. This profile  comes from the Scientific Excellence section. To say that 2014 was a good year for Professor Alison Downard is a bit of an understatement. Even her admission that it was ‘really good’ is somewhat shy of the mark, given that she was made […]

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Jun
21

Dr Jenny Malmstrom – Developing the future science leaders

Part of a series of stories from the 2014 Public Annual Report. This profile comes from the Leadership section where we discuss all the things the Institute is doing to help develop “scientifically astute, entrepreneurial and socially active leaders.”   The MacDiarmid Institute is dedicated to growing and developing scientifically astute, entrepreneurial and socially active leaders at all stages […]

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Jun
21

Dr Eva Anton: The Postdoc experience

2014 MacDiarmid Institute Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Eva Anton works in an exciting field. She is part of the rare-earth nitrides team that is growing materials that are both semiconducting and ferromagnetic , making them an attractive proposition for a new generation of electronic devices. Eva first came to the team after meeting Emiritus Professor Joe […]

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Aug
06

A better understanding of graphene

Story By Ruth Beran “We make power bits run around in dark stuff” was the title of Chun Y Cheah’s winning entry in the Up-Goer Five Challenge* held at The MacDiarmid Institute’s ninth student and postdoc symposium held in November 2013. He was describing his research using only words from a list of the ten hundred […]

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Apr
14

Thermal Memories

Story by Ruth Beran Hysteresis Many materials have memory. If a rubber band is stretched, for example, and then let go, it will be slightly larger than before it was stretched. This is called elastic hysteresis. Similarly, materials like iron can be magnetised, and will remain magnetised indefinitely, until demagnetised by heat or a magnetic […]

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Sep
12

Our Stories: Jim Metson

It wasn’t so long ago that ministries didn’t have scientific advisers or if they did, they were in-house appointments, but in recent years such jobs have tended to go to those working outside the building – such as Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, the Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, or Dr Ian Ferguson, the […]

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Mar
19

Control at the Nanoscale

Quantum Mechanics Enables Control at the Nanoscale Self-assembly is vital in order to enable industrial scale manufacturing on the atomic scale, because existing technologies usually rely on processes that involve manipulation of tiny individual building blocks. Those processes are time consuming and therefore expensive. The experimental work was done by Postdoctoral researcher Pawel Kowalczyk and […]

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Aug
23

Battling bacteria – a meaty issue

A short story of a MacDiarmid Institute graduate The objective of my research was to optically characterise very thin superlattices of CaF2-CdF2. In particular we have doped Eu ions into CaF2 layers as an optical probe to the crystal environment. Then we looked at optical transitions of Eu centres using laser spectroscopy. Crucial information on […]

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Dec
15

Proteins with Professor Juliet Gerrard

There are thousands of different proteins in every cell, and they do not work alone. The cell is like a giant, moving, three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle, and the way all these pieces interact dictates the way they carry out biological functions, like carrying oxygen, or replicating themselves when we grow. Proteins do not act on their […]

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Dec
13

Quantum Chemistry with Dr Nicola Gaston

What we’re particularly interested in is illustrated by the version of the periodic table shown on this page. Here each metal atom in the periodic table is coloured according to the structure it adopts in the bulk, which is simply a way of describing the arrangement of the atoms in space. So aluminium, for example, […]

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Nov
01

Microfluidic Devices with Dr Geoff Willmott

My research, as part of a team at Callaghan Innovation (CI), is focussed on methods of micro- and nanoscale ‘plumbing’ for a new generation of devices and processes. CI is committed to transferring commercial benefits to industry in New Zealand, and this kind of technology has many potential applications beyond diagnostics, including interrogation of single […]

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Oct
01

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, […]

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Jul
01

Modelling Nano-Devices with Prof Ulrich Zuelicke

I am currently focused on researching a new paradigm of electronics called spintronics, where the magnetic properties of the electron are used to control charge flow in new devices. Charge carriers in wires are tiny permanent magnets. In the image, the magnetisation of each particle is indicated by an arrow. When the lateral wire dimensions […]

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Jan
01

Electronic and Optical Materials with Dr Ben Ruck

Many of the materials are magnetic, and I am particularly interested in understanding the origins of the magnetic behaviour and how it affects the ability of the materials to conduct electricity.My present focus is on a class of materials called “rare-earth nitrides”, which we prepare in the form of very thin layers grown on top […]

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