Techniques & Capabilities


The School of Chemistry houses a suite of world-class instrumentation for structural and physical characterisation of nanomaterials including MOFs. We share a very well-established synthetic laboratory with Prof. Cameron Kepert and A/Prof. Girish Lakhwani with our own inert atmosphere glove box which enables routine synthesis and electrochemical measurements of air sensitive compounds. See some photos of our facilities below.

One of our areas of expertise is the development of AC/DC electrochemical techniques and integrated spectroscopic methods that combine electrochemistry with various spectroscopies for solid state nanomaterials. We also have a unique single crystal absorption spectrometer custom-made by Prof. Elmars Krausz at the ANU. Please get in touch if you are interested in collaborations that use these instruments.

More recently, we have been developing 3D printing protocols for nanomaterials such as MOFs, including the fabrication of monoliths and free-standing printed electrodes that remove the need for any substrate.

We are also fortunate to have ready access to the Australian Synchrotron and the Opal Research Reactor (ANSTO, Lucas Heights) for electron and neutron diffraction studies.

Nanomaterials Synthesis & Fabrication Laboratory

Synthesis Laboratory

Synthesis Laboratory

Inert Atmosphere Glove Box

Supercritical CO2 Drying

Synthesis Laboratory

Synthesis Ovens

3D Printing (Additive Manufacturing)

Single Crystal Absorption Spectroscopy

Nanomaterials Characterisation Facilities

We regularly access the state-of-the-art Vibrational Spectroscopy Core Facility as part of Sydney Analytical and the Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, both housed next-door to Chemistry in the Madsen Building. These facilities house UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometers, Raman and Infrared spectrometers, as well as Scanning and Tunneling Electron Microscopes.

Differential Scanning Calorimetry

Gas Adsorption

Recirculating Baths for Gas Adsorption

Thermogravimetric Analysis

Powder X-ray Diffraction

Physical Property Measurement System

Solid State AC/DC Electrochemistry

We develop methods to probe electroactivity in nanomaterials including MOFs. We are heavily inspired by our collaborator Prof. Alan Bond's pioneering development of AC voltammetry of proteins: the highly capacitive nature of metalloproteins can be likened to coordination polymers and MOFs. Our examination of the AC voltammetry of Zeolitic Imidizolate Frameworks (ZIFs) has shown that their redox properties can be discerned by using Fourier Transform analysis of the AC signal, enabling modelling of the kinetics and mechanisms for charge and ion transfer in these nanoporous materials.

Solid State Spectroelectrochemistry

NIR-Vis Spectroelectrochemistry

EPR Spectroelectrochemistry

Raman Spectroelectrochemistry

We have developed methods for:

  • Near-infrared (NIR)-Visible Spectroelectrochemistry

  • Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Spectroelectrochemistry

  • Raman Spectroelectrochemistry

  • Fluorescence Spectroelectrochemistry

These powerful techniques give us access to the optical and vibrational properties of redox states of air and moisture sensitive frameworks (or other solids) that are otherwise difficult to characterise ex situ.

Single Crystal Absorption Spectroscopy

Absorption spectroscopy of single crystals enables us to quantify the optical properties (absorption coefficients for example), allowing us to use theories of electron transfer to elucidate important properties of a crystalline system. This custom-made instrument was designed and built by our colleague Prof. Elmars Krausz at the ANU.

3D Printing of Nanomaterials

In a collaboration that has grown from work with industry partner Southern Green Gas, we can 3D print nanomaterials such as MOFs to produce free-standing monoliths for adsorption and catalysis applications.

See our recent review article on 3D printing of MOFs for energy and environmental applications here.