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 Professor Shane Telfer helps easing life for asthmatics

Scientists hope to help asthma sufferers and others needing oxygen at home by developing ‘molecular sponges’ with nanoscale-sized pores to purify the air. There’s possibly nothing more frightening than struggling to take a breath. Something asthmatics and others with respiratory diseases know all too well. Many of these people depend on portable oxygen concentrators, small […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Organocatalysis – very trendy!

  In the heart of the periodic table sits a group of elements which most people would instantly recognise, but more than likely take for granted. This is not surprising – many of the transition metals, including iron, nickel, copper, silver and gold, are so familiar, so ordinary, that it is hard to imagine that they could be at […]