Read more about our research areas and projects available under the Research Theme tabs.
CONDUCTING & SUPERCONDUCTING MOFS FOR EFFICIENT ENERGY TRANSPORT
Superconductivity is a phenomenon where charge moves through a substance with perfect efficiency (i.e., without any resistance or loss of heat). A complex interplay between electronic and magnetic interactions is ubiquitous in such systems, however experimental studies in MOFs in which these phenomena have been probed are extremely rare. By virtue of their highly tunable structures, MOFs offer an unprecedented opportunity to develop new porous conductors and superconductors, potentially solving the decades-long quest for a unifying theory for superconductivity.
PHOTONIC MOFS FOR ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHT-TO-LIGHT CONVERSION AND ALL-OPTICAL DEVICES
The photonics-based industry sector in Australia contributed $4.3 billion to economic activity in 2018 and continues to grow on the back of enormous investments in fibre optic technology for long-range information transfer (represented locally by our National Broadband Network (NBN)). All-Optical devices are regarded as a potentially ‘breakthrough’ technology that can be integrated with existing fibre-optic infrastructure, offering the ability to manipulate photons with photons at ultrafast speeds (> 500 GB s-1/in terahertz range) without passing into the electrical domain. In this project we are developing chiral MOFs as novel nonlinear optical mateirals for next generation All-Optical devices.
MULTIFUNCTIONAL PHOTO-MECHANO-ELECTROCHEMICALLY ACTIVE MOFS FOR MOLECULAR DEVICES
Reversible structural transformations of porous coordination frameworks in response to external stimuli such as light, electrical potential, guest inclusion or pressure, amongst others, have been the subject of intense interest for applications in sensing, switching and molecular separations. In this project, we build on our recent discovery of a coordination framework based on an electroactive tetrathiafulvalene exhibiting a reversible single crystal-to-single crystal double [2 + 2] photocyclisation, leading to profound differences in the electrochemical, optical and mechanical properties of the material upon light irradiation.
CARBON DIOXIDE CAPTURE & CONVERSION
The development of more efficient processes for carbon dioxide capture is considered a key to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions implicated in global warming. Highly porous three-dimensional solids known as metal-organic frameworks will be developed for use as capture materials and will be characterised using a barrage of techniques (X-ray and neutron diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis and gas sorption measurements). The ultimate goal is the development of industrially-viable materials which can be readily integrated into industrial processes.
3D PRINTING OF NANOMATERIALS
The fabrication of free-standing MOF nanomaterials offers enormous benefits including energy and cost savings compared with traditional methods for MOF thin-film fabrication on substrates. In this project, we develop further the printing methodologies required to translate MOFs (including electro-, photo- and catalytically-active materials) into industrially applicable devices.
DEVELOPMENT OF SOLID STATE SPECTROELECTROCHEMICAL TECHNIQUES
Spectroelectrochemistry (SEC) encompasses a broad suite of electroanalytical techniques where electrochemistry is coupled with various spectroscopic methods. This powerful and versatile array of methods is characterised as in situ, where a fundamental property is measured in real time as the redox state is varied through an applied voltage. SEC has a long and rich history and has proved highly valuable for discerning mechanistic aspects of redox reactions that underpin the function of biological, chemical, and physical systems in the solid and solution states, as well as in thin films and even in single molecules. In this project we will further our group's unique development of solid-state SEC (ultraviolet–visible–near-infrared, infrared, Raman, photoluminescence, electron paramagnetic resonance, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy) methods which are relevant to interrogating solid state materials, particularly those in the burgeoning field of electroactive MOFs.
SOLID STATE ELECTROCHEMISTRY FOR ELECTROACTIVE NANOPOROUS MATERIALS
We are developing new techniques to probe the electroactive properties of MOFs. While solid state DC methods can be useful, the highly capacitive nature of nanomaterials is a significant hurdle, often confounding experimental data. AC electrochemistry, pioneered by our colleague and collaborator Prof. Alan Bond for metalloproteins is a powerful technique that we are applying for the first time to nanomaterials such as MOFs. Our first publications in this area show the strong promise for these methods.