MacDiarmid Institute in the Media 2012

MacDiarmid Institute in the Media 2012

Our researchers and their research are recognised as being the best.  They are often asked to contribute to television and radio programmes, and to comment where a scientific perspective is required.

Radio Programmes and Interviews

Professor Ken MacKenzie

Radio New Zealand – Our Changing World – 11 October 2012

Magic-angle spinning NMR allows chemists to study the nucleus within atoms of novel ceramics and geopolymers

Professor Alan Kaiser

Radio New Zealand – This Way Up – Thermo-Electric Clothing

From phones to cameras, soon we could be recharging our electronic gizmos using the heat from our bodies. Corey Hewitt of Wake Forest University is working with Professor Alan Kaiser of Victoria University on the innovation.

Recent News Articles

Assembling Atoms

University of Canterbury (UC) scientists have discovered a new way of assembling atoms that could lead to increases in the power of cellphones, computer tablets and memory sticks.

MacDiarmid Institute Deputy Director, and UC physics professor, Simon Brown is investigating the possibility of much smaller electronic devices with more power and data storage. “The ultimate limit is to build things one atom at a time. We aren’t there yet, but our recent paper describes a new tool that can be used to control the assembly of atoms.”

The experimental work has been conducted by postdoctoral researcher Pawel Kowalczyk and PhD student Ojas Mahapatra under Professor Brown’s supervision and was largely funded by the MacDiarmid Institute. They collaborated with researchers in the United States and China.

Scoop – UC  scientists discover a new way of assembling atoms
Yahoo News – Scientists discover a new way of assembling atoms
Nanotechnology research uses hoki eye protein

University of Canterbury scientists have started using cutting edge nanotechnology to turn protein from fish eye lenses into tiny components for use in devices to help doctors detect various illnesses such as cancer.

MacDiarmid Institue funded postdoctoral fellow Dr Luigi Sasso says looking at the proteins in hoki fish eyes is great for the environment and will also help people’s health in the long term. He is researching at UC’s Biomolecular Interaction Centre, under the guidance of Prof. Juliet Gerrard to investigate pioneering new areas of cutting-edge nanotechnology.
Scoop – UC scientist uses green material for early disease detection

“They can only be seen using big electron microscopes. Eye lenses contain approximately 90 percent proteins, so it is an easily accessible source to extract proteins for research,’’ project leader and scientist Dr Madhu Vasudevamurthy said. For the past two and half years, Dr Madhu Vasudevamurthy has been working in collaboration with Professor Juliet Gerrard, a world leading bionanotechnology expert at the UC’s state of the art Biomolecular Interaction Centre.
UC News – Nanotechnology research uses hoki eye protein

Talent quest

Emerging scientists are tasked with boosting our wealth and wellbeing, but their environment is a mix of trouble and promise. What can be done to nurture our next generation of innovators?

Featuring Professor Shaun Hendy, PhD Student Cosmin Laslau, Professor Richard Blaikie, Dr Justin Hodgkiss.

New Zealand innovation in nanotechnology

A recent report on New Zealand’s nanotechnology sector showcases the innovation that New Zealand is known for.

The video report covers several different New Zealand nanotechnology companies and researchers, from Dr. Richard Tilley, who, in a world first, is making uniquely shaped nanoparticles for catalytic converters that are much more effective at reducing harmful emissions than the standard, to physicist Ben Ruck, who is completely reimagining electronic devices through the use of nanotechnology.

(See Television appearances also)

Science team formed to help firms

A team of scientists is setting up shop in Christchurch to work with biotech companies. MICHAEL BERRY reports on three of the region’s promising firms who will be working with them – Gelita, Synlait Milk and Canterbury Scientific.

Television Appearances


TV3’s “The Nation” recently featured our researchers and collaborators in a special feature on nanotechnology and it’s applications in New Zealand.


Part 1: NZ scientists’ nano-technology breakthroughs

Part 2: NZ nano-technology research fuels business

Featuring Aeroqual, IZON, Magritek, Professor Kathryn McGrath, Associate Professor Richard Tilley, Dr Ben Ruck, Dr Geoff Willmott, and Dr Dimitri Shebarchov.