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Plasma cleantech

Plasma cleantech is a rapidly emerging multidisciplinary research and development topic focusing on the development of novel advanced technologies for:environmental purification and/or processingmanufacturingother industrial technologies that reduce environmental and human health impacts.These technologies are based on customised physical, chemical, and biological effects of low-temperature plasmas. Some examples of their usage includes the reduction of:carbon emissionsenergy consumptionuse or release of toxic chemicals or bi-products. …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry and Physics

Anti-biofilm agents

We have recently shown that nitroxides (sterically hindered versions of nitric oxide) can inhibit bacterial biofilm formation and disperse existing biofilms. Furthermore, nitroxide-containing antibiotics can eradicate mature biofilms. Bacteria, however, are rapidly becoming resistant to many antibiotics.This project involves the synthesis, purification, characterisation and evaluation of new antimicrobials with less propensity for resistance development. …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry and Physics

New molecules to treat disease

High levels of oxidative stress are associated with a number of diseases (cancer, Alzheimer's disease, inflammatory disorders, cardiovascular disease) including infectious diseases caused by pathogenic organisms (bacteria, fungi and their associated biofilms).This project aims to design and prepare new small molecules to regulate and track oxidative stress in various disease states.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry and Physics

Macromolecular barcoding for tracing plastic materials for the circular economy – a game changer for recycling

Plastic waste reduction and management is perhaps the most critical challenge facing modern economies, and plastic pollution cannot be resolved by generic approaches to research or to problem-solving.QUT's Soft Matter Materials Team aims to resolve the anonymity and ubiquity of plastics by pioneering a simple optical readout system that can identify the uniquely coded information in macromolecules that have been embedded in plastics.You will be part of this dynamic team led by ARC Laureate Fellow, Christopher Barner-Kowollik, from QUT’s Centre …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry and Physics

Can we beat nature in designing catalysts? Towards synthetic protein-structures based on precision macromolecules

Are you up for a challenge?In this project, you'll explore if you can beat nature in making catalytic systems!Over billions of years, nature has perfected the design and synthesis of high molecular weight precision macromolecules, which are able to execute a specific function in a complex biological environment, such as proteins.The project will be embedded into a large research effort within the Soft Matter Materials Team aimed at using precision synthetic polymer chemistry to design macromolecules that can be folded …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry and Physics

The visible light challenge - using light for 3D patterning of surfaces

The idea of using light as an energy source to make and break chemical bonds has been widely applied for the development of more complex structures in the soft matter materials design and biological sciences.This has been inspired by nature’s way of using light to trigger chemical processes, known as photosynthesis, by green plants.However, to date, the energy required to activate chemical bond formation was mostly extracted from UV light. This is a drawback in developing and applying these reaction …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry and Physics

Polymer particles as precision sensors for molecules

Polymer particles are a billion-dollar industry with a diverse range of applications from biomedical to industrial coatings.As a prime example, point-of-care testing devices rely on polymeric particles with various size and functionality to conveniently allow instantaneous, selective, and precise diagnostics.However, as new applications arise and current applications advance, these demand the preparation of increasingly complex material and particle systems.The Soft Matter Materials Team has developed a simple method to form uniform particles without any additives, initiators or stabilisers.The ambient temperature …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry and Physics

Controlling soft matter materials at the nano-level – how to construct materials whose mechanical properties can be remotely adjusted

Nature is an expert at developing high-performance materials which combine properties like high toughness, stiffness, and low weight.Some well-known examples include:woodbonespider silk.In this project we aim to mimic the structure and properties of another, less known natural high-performance material: nacre.Additionally, we want to introduce a light-adaptive control mechanism. This will enable a controlled transformation of physical and mechanical properties in real-time.To achieve adaptable properties, a control mechanism on the molecular level is required, featuring several distinct functional plateaus.It is proposed …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry and Physics

Programming polymers

Radical polymerisations play a key role in both commercial and fundamental research with it being in 45% of international polymer production at 100 million tons per year.However, radical polymerisations still suffer from synthetic drawbacks, such as all-carbon polymer backbones, which prevent their (bio)degradability.In this project, we'll develop novel polymers which can be programmed towards controlled degradability.Towards this goal, you'll develop a polymerisation technique that allows to incorporate small natural building blocks (i.e. peptides) into synthetic polymers. These peptide sequences will …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry and Physics

Discovery and design of novel catalysts from computational chemistry

The discovery and design of novel materials as efficient catalysts are critical for the development of innovative clean energy and environmental technology. For example, hydrogen production involves hydrogen evolution and oxygen evolution reactions - oxygen reduction/evolution reactions are important in fuel cell and air battery technology, carbon dioxide reduction is related to the mitigation of carbon emission, and nitrogen fixation is linked to the fertiliser production process.In principle, the catalytic properties of a material are completely determined by its electronic …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry and Physics

Plasma catalysis

Plasma catalysis is a rapidly emerging multidisciplinary field at the interface of catalysis, nanotechnology, physical chemistry, materials and plasma science. Relevant applications include plasma-assisted catalytic reforming of gas mixtures into fuels, chemicals and synthesis of functional nanomaterials.While the physical properties and reactive chemistry of APPs are relatively well understood, little is known about the mechanisms of the APP interactions with the nanometer-size features on the surface of catalyst nanoparticles (NPs). These mechanisms are crucial to explain the effects of nanoscale …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry and Physics

Glassy 2D molecular materials

Modern semiconductor technologies are based on crystalline materials with well-defined physical and electronic structures.However, molecular materials, such as organic semiconductors, may present interesting opportunities through disordered structures.The focus of this project will be on conjugated 2D materials without long-range order: molecular glasses. Through control of the chemical composition, atomic bonding motifs, and lateral size, we will be able to modify the properties of these materials.Our focus will be on synthesising and studying these new materials to better understand the relationship …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry and Physics

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