Professor Keith Gordon

Principal Investigator

Phone: 03 479 7599

Postal Address:

Department of Chemistry
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054

Keith Gordon received his BSc Hons (First Class) in 1986 and PhD in 1989 in chemistry from Queens University, Belfast, UK. His PhD research, under the direction of Professor John J McGarvey, focused on laser spectroscopy of solar energy compounds. He was awarded a Director’s Fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratories, USA, and worked with Professor W H Woodruff from 1989 – 1992 on ultrafast laser spectroscopy of biological systems and solar energy materials.

In 1993 Keith took up a lecturing post in the Chemistry Department at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, becoming Professor in 2009 in that department. Keith was President of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry in 2006 and is a founding Principal Investigator in the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.

Keith was President of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry in 2006 and is a founding Principal Investigator in the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.

Keith’s research interests focus on the understanding the properties of conducting polymers, nanostructured electromaterials, such as found in dye-sensitised solar cells, dairy products and pharmaceuticals using spectroscopy and computational chemistry.



Associated Content


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’.


MacDiarmid Institute Refunded: Thank you and congratulations

With the news that we have been successful in gaining funding through to the end of 2020 I get to be a bit self-indulgent this week and focus on thanking people for their participation and support during the past year or so as we developed the strategy for the bid. Many people have played very […]


The Bid is Gone – YAY – let the doing begin!

Eight months of living and breathing the MacDiarmid Institute Centre of Research Excellence funding proposal to come down to a click of the mouse. Where were the trumpets, the marching band, the ticker tape parade?! Shouldn’t such a momentous occasion be marked with an explosion of lights and fanfare rather than the soft snoring sound […]


3 Investigators Made RSNZ Fellows

The three Principal Investigators, with ties to four of our seven partner institutes, are currently or have previously been members of our Science Executive, and all make a significant contribution to the leadership and direction of the MacDiarmid Institute. Professor Shaun Hendy – Industrial Research Limited, Victoria University of Wellington Professor Juliet Gerrard – University […]

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 […]


Time Resolved Raman Experiment

About the Equipment: The set up includes two lasers, which deliver short pulses of intense light to a sample. The first is used to push the material into its excited state and the second to analyse its structure and properties. The time lapse between the two pulses can be adjusted to probe different points during […]


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 […]

Energy For The Future

Work at the forefront of human understanding is possible when scientists across the country work together, says Keith Gordon. The University of Otago Professor of Chemistry is the MacDiarmid Institute’s Science Leader in the vital area of Materials for Energy Capture and Utilisation.  “There are a couple of things to think about with energy. First we […]

Powering up

A SURPRISING DISCOVERY is set to accelerate the global search for better solar materials. Total darkness. A large black table sprouts mirrors like some kind of extra-terrestrial mushroom farm. Orange laser light bounces from one mirror to the next, hits a small square of plastic and disappears into a black box. The laser has just […]

Chance Only Favours the Prepared Mind

Looking back at eleven years of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology   “When you’ve got the equipment, the expertise, and the space to think about problems in a different way, the research almost tells its own story.”   Popular culture delights in the concept of scientific serendipity: Alexander Fleming discovering penicillin after […]

Professor Keith Gordon – An inquisitive mind

  Keith Gordon’s research focuses on molecular materials, specifically the spectroscopy of inorganic and biological systems, at the University of Otago.
He became interested in science at a very young age, with the kind of mucking about
with chemistry sets and interest in biology and
botany that characterises so many inquisitive
minds in childhood. He was encouraged to
choose chemistry […]


  AMN-4 Advanced Materials and Nantechnology conference was held in February 2009 at The University of Otago in Dunedin. Professor Sally Brooker and Professor Keith Gordon headed the organising team. 331 delegates attended, of whom 181 were from New Zealand and 150 were interna­tional. The registration was very pleasing considering that travel to the southern […]

Korea – New Zealand AMN-3 Satellite Meeting

  The high international profile created by the MacDiarmid Institute’s Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology conferences means that it has been possible for researchers with interests in certain key areas, such as the Nano- and Bionano-Technology to meet together as part of the larger conference, and to host the International Conference on Quantum Transport and Quantum […]

Conducting Polymers in Queenstown and Wollongong

2004 saw MacDiarmid Institute researchers involved in organising a highly successful satellite symposium to ICSM04, the 2004 International Conference on The Science and Technology of Synthetic Metals. The symposium “ New Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage” was held in June at the Millennium Hotel in Queenstown with international speakers including Alan MacDiarmid (University of Pennsylvania), Arthur Epstein (Ohio State University) […]