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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
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Advanced polymer inks for 3D printing – defining the future of 3D additive manufacturing

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 printingare reprogrammable after they have …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

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
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

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
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

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
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

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
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

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