Study level


Master of Philosophy


Vacation research experience scheme


Science and Engineering Faculty

School of Chemistry and Physics

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Innovation)
Division / Faculty
Division of Research and Innovation


Some estimates state that by 2030, 30% of all manufactured goods will be 3D printed.

A particular type of 3D printing is 3D laser lithography with which micro- and nano-sized structures can be prepared. Such structures find wide-ranging applications in creating materials with unusual properties. This can include functioning as invisibility cloaks or scaffolds growing and guiding cells.

Cutting-edge research is trying to exceed current 3D printing limitations, by developing materials that either:

  • allow for smaller and faster printing
  • are reprogrammable after they have been printed.

In close collaboration with the Soft Matter Materials Team, you can choose one of the following projects:

  • Investigate new polymeric materials for high-resolution 3D printing in the nano-realm in which the printing can be turned “on” and “off” with different colours of light.
    • By overlapping two different coloured laser beams during the printing process, the printing area can be squeezed down, allowing for the printing of smaller and more precise structures.
  • Develop materials whose properties can be altered post-printing.
    • The properties of structures created from such materials, like their hardness or colour, can be changed in a controlled fashion by exposing them to certain stimuli.
    • This project will develop materials that can be altered by exposing them to specific wavelengths of light.

Choosing one of these projects will make you a pioneer in 3D printing structures that cannot be seen with your eyes – yet can have big effects. An example includes computer chip manufacturing.

Research activities

Some of the research activities you're involved in may include:

  • organic synthesis
  • macromolecular synthesis
  • photochemistry
  • soft matter materials science
  • 3D laser printing
  • advanced functional materials.

You’ll be working with Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik as part of your research. Professor Barner-Kowollik is an ARC Laurette Fellow and a member of QUT’s Centre for Materials Science and School of Chemistry and Physics.


Upon conclusion of this research, we expect to develop 3D printing inks allowing multimaterial 3D printing.

Skills and experience

To be considered for this research project, you should have strong skills in organic synthesis and demonstrate a strong interest in:

  • soft matter materials science
  • advanced manufacturing
  • multidisciplinary work between physics, chemistry and biology.

You'll also need to be willing to collaborate internationally.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.