Professor Richard Tilley

Professor Richard Tilley

Emeritus Investigator

Professor Richard Tilley is the Director of Electron Microscope Unit at UNSW. His research is focused on the solution synthesis of nanoparticles and quantum dots for applications ranging from catalysis to biomedical imaging. He did his PhD in the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK, after which he was a Postdoctoral Fellow for two years at the Toshiba basic R&D Center, Japan. A native of the UK, he graduated with a Masters of Chemistry from Oxford University, UK.




Associated Content


Big Results, Tiny Particles

Nanoparticles are attracting worldwide scientific interest because of their potential applications, particularly in the fields of biomedical research and industrial processes. “Our goal is to use them to benefit science and, ultimately, mankind,” says The MacDiarmid Institute’s Richard Tilley. SOURCE: “Victorious” – Victoria University of Wellington.   Read More

Nanomaterials for Biological Applications

We use multidisciplinary approaches to develop magnetic nanoparticles, quantum dots (QDs) and silver nanoparticles for biomedical applications. Magnetic nanoparticles (including superparamagnetic nanoparticles) of well-defined shape are being developed with  Carla Meledandri. We are investigating their magnetic resonance properties in suspension, and their potential as MRI contrast agents to improve cancer detection. The question of how […]

Biology on-the-Fly

Ultra-sensitive spectroscopy – with special emphasis on single molecule Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering – will continue to grow from the recent successes in the application of the technique to reveal new aspects of the physics of isolated molecules (especially those of biological interest) on surfaces. Among recent developments, our group has demonstrated the possibility of […]

Transport in the Nanoworld

Understanding of nanofluidics has the potential to revolutionise the way in which particle sensing and analysis, and ultimately molecular biology, is done. We seek to manipulate transport of fluid and particles in and around micro- to nano-scale devices, individual pores and porous materials. We use elastomeric tunable nanopores to study a wide range of interesting […]


MacDiarmid Investigators success with MSI bids

Congratulations to the following MacDiarmid Institute Investigators named on awarded MSI grants, in no particular order:   New Cathodes, $964,050 over 2 years: Simon Hall (Lead Scientist, MU) Magnetic Devices, $3.9 m over 4 years: John Kennedy (Co-Lead Scientist, GNS) and Simon Granville (IRL) [Grant co-lead with Nick Long, IRL] Laser Micromachining, $7.8 m over […]


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 […]

Ultra-sensitive laser spectroscopy (Etchegoin, LeRu, Tilley)

Current work is expanding on this success by investigating SERS for more complex multiple-particle nanostructure geometries. We have also expanded now into subtler aspects of single-molecule detection, like the demonstration of isotopic variations in single molecule spectra and the possibility of observing single molecules in basic geometries involving controllable enhancements. The work has been complemented […]

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 […]

Making Patterns

These days, the sound of drilling at the University of Canterbury is usually associated with the huge amount of construction going on after the earthquakes, but sitting in Maan Alkaisi’s office on the fifth floor of the Electrical and Computer Engineering building, the drilling outside his office signifies something far more auspicious. “So you’re witnessing the sign with my name being changed. I got promoted to […]

From Molecules to the Market

Taking single molecules and tethering them to a surface to produce highly controllable functions as the basis for precision sensors, medical diagnostic tools or even lighting arrays may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but the groundwork is being tackled in the University of Canterbury lab of Dr Alison Downard. The MacDiarmid Institute Principal […]

A Culture of Commercialisation

In general, I see my role as being to facilitate commercialization activity in the Institute, and to build a culture of commercialisation.  I’m not going to be doing the commercialisation in the sense of starting companies and writing business plans but, hopefully, I can help put structures and networks in place to support people who want […]

New Zealand – Taiwan Symposium on Bio-nanotechnologies and MacDiarmid Institute BioNanoNetwork (BNN) Meeting

The joint New Zealand – Taiwan Symposium on Bionanotechnologies and the MacDiarmid Institute BioNanoNetwork (BNN) annual meeting was held in April 2010 in Wellington and in Christchurch, organized by Richard Tilley and Maan Alkaisi. The symposium was sponsored by the NZ Ministry of Research, Science & Technology, National Science Council, Taiwan and the MacDiarmid Institute BioNanoNetwork. Dr […]

Ever Wondered?

  Dr John Watt is hosting a TVNZ7 Science show “Ever Wondered?” presented in partnership with the Royal Society of New Zealand”. John searches for answers to today’s most challenging scientific questions by dropping in on Kiwi scientists and researchers and joining in on high-tech and at times hair-raising experiments dealing with natural disasters to food […]

MacDiarmid Young Scientist of the Year Award and the Prime Minister’s Emerging Scientist Prize

John Watt, a PhD student working with Richard Tilley, was named the 2009 MacDiarmid Young Scientist of the Year. His research could result in a cheap and effective way of removing toxic pollutants from vehicle emissions. His prize included $15,000 in cash, a trip to an international conference and the prestigious MacDiarmid medal. John was […]

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 […]

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 […]