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Overview

Our research in this discipline examines the generation of new molecules and materials as well as the study of their chemical and physical properties.

Our work impacts on a wide variety of advanced manufacturing technologies ranging from medical to industrial settings.

Our experts

Meet our experts

Professor Steven Bottle
Position
Professor
Division / Faculty
Molecular Design and Synthesis,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research fields
Organic Chemistry
Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry
Medicinal and Biomolecular Chemistry
Email
Professor John McMurtrie
Position
Professor
Division / Faculty
Molecular Design and Synthesis,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research fields
Inorganic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry (incl. Structural)
Email
Professor Huai Yong Zhu
Position
Professor
Division / Faculty
Molecular Design and Synthesis,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research fields
Physical Chemistry (incl. Structural)
Chemical Engineering
Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry
Email
Professor Leonie Barner
Position
Principal Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Molecular Design and Synthesis,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research field
Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry
Email
Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik
Position
Australian Laureate Fellow
Division / Faculty
Molecular Design and Synthesis,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research field
Nanotechnology
Email
Associate Professor Prashant Sonar
Position
Associate Professor
Division / Faculty
Molecular Design and Synthesis,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research fields
Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry
Nanotechnology
Other Chemical Sciences
Email
Associate Professor Tim Dargaville
Position
Future Fellow
Division / Faculty
Molecular Design and Synthesis,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research field
Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry
Email
Associate Professor Kathryn Fairfull-Smith
Position
Future Fellow
Division / Faculty
Molecular Design and Synthesis,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research fields
Organic Chemistry
Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry
Medicinal and Biomolecular Chemistry
Email
Dr James Blinco
Position
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Molecular Design and Synthesis,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research fields
Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry (incl. Structural)
Email
Dr Emad Kiriakous
Position
Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science
Division / Faculty
Molecular Design and Synthesis,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research field
Analytical Chemistry
Email
Dr Kathleen Mullen
Position
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Molecular Design and Synthesis,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research fields
Analytical Chemistry
Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry
Physical Chemistry (incl. Structural)
Email
Dr Nathan Boase
Position
Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Molecular Design and Synthesis,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research fields
Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry
Nanotechnology
Physical Chemistry (incl. Structural)
Email

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Jack
QUT Science and Engineering student

Real students

"One of the best parts of the chemistry degree is your capstone project, where you actually get to do research on something that’s never been done before. What I got to do was remove BPA which is a common breast cancer causing agent from water, just using clays."

Bachelor of Science (Chemistry)

Recognised research

In 2018, experts from our discipline raised over $2 million in research funding from both national and international firms.

From the ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia) we received a 5 (well above world standard) in materials engineering and macromolecular and materials chemistry.

We also received a 4 (above world standard) in mechanical engineering, physical chemistry (including structural chemistry) and organic chemistry.

Research

Our research is generating new materials and molecules that deliver:

  • adhesives for dentistry
  • antibacterial surfaces
  • better batteries
  • brighter OLED screens
  • windows that become dark with the flick of a switch.

We use synthetic techniques to generate functional small molecules, covalent oligomers and polymers through to complex (supra) molecular networks and materials.

Our researchers study molecular properties in:

  • effects of external stimuli, such as light, on molecules
  • molecular recognition
  • reaction kinetics and thermodynamics
  • reactivity relationships
  • structure.

Projects

High performance inks for solution based organic light emitting diodes manufacturing

ARC Linkage Project
Project leaders
Dates

2018-2021

Project summary

This project aims to introduce an advanced solution processing and printing technique for organic light emitting diode (OLED) fabrication based on a set of innovative macromolecular chemistries. Solution fabrication of OLED is a challenging, yet ultimately powerful, process with key advantages over current vacuum processing systems, especially with regard to production flexibility, cost and OLED size.

The project will provide a functioning technology platform for solution OLED fabrication.

A new generation of photoresists for three-dimensional laser lithography

ARC Discovery Project
Project leaders
Dates

2018-2021

Project summary

This project aims at a step-change in photoresist technology by introducing visible-light-induced photochemistry as the basis of next generation direct laser writing (DLW) technology. This willenable functional photoresists that allow precision coding of complex soft matter material properties on the three-dimensional nanoscale.

The outcomes of the project will enable the mild fabrication of three-dimensional structures with unique property control and resolution, benefitting diverse fields ranging from designer (stem) cell niches and lab-on-a-chip applications to photonic wire bonding.

A portable multiplexed sensing platform for the rapid stand-off detection of chemical hazards and concealed explosives

Project leaders
Dates

2018-2021

Project summary

Researchers from QUT, Flinders Universities and the department of defence science and technology (DST) will build a miniaturised laser based dual sensing capability that can safely identify hidden chemical threats from a standoff distance and provide information about their molecular structure.

The new capability will contribute to safeguarding the Australian public, Defence personnel and sensitive infrastructure.

This project has received a grant under the Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge: an initiative of Defence’s Next Generation Technologies.

Light-induced chemical modularity: a new frontier in macromolecular design

ARC Laureate Fellowship
Project leader

Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik

Dates

2017-2022

Project summary

This project develops powerful light-driven chemistries for the modular construction of advanced macromolecular materials, introducing light-induced modular chemistry as a precision tool exploiting wavelength, intensity, time, and space as controlling features.

The outcome is a versatile light-based precision macromolecular synthetic technology platform. It will enable critical advances in soft matter material design and synthesis, ranging from selectivity control of chemical reactions, information-coded and biomimetic light-responsive macromolecules to advanced functional photoresists for 3D laser lithography. It will also advance materials that self-report structural transformations by light or are reprogrammable in their properties by photonic fields.

Formation, photochemistry and fate of gas-phase peroxyl radicals

ARC Discovery Project
Project leader

Professor Stephen Blanksby

Dates

2017-2020

Project summary

This project aims to understand how peroxyl radical reactions modulate the composition of air. The gas-phase chemical reactions of organic peroxyl radicals contribute to air quality in clean and polluted environments. However, experimental observations of these reaction intermediates and the complex mechanisms governing their formation and fate are limited.

This project will use mass spectrometry and laser-based methods to interrogate the chemical and photochemical reactions of peroxyl radicals in the gas phase. This project expects to understand the composition and dynamics of the troposphere and inform strategies to improve air quality.

Nanoparticle driven templating of microspheres as chromatographic materials

ARC Linkage Project
Project leaders
Dates

2017-2020

Project summary

This project aims to pioneer a novel, high-performing class of nano-patterned core-shell particles as chromatographic materials. It will use advanced polymerization and particle preparation techniques in combination with degradable nanoparticles design, to enable the plug-and-play assembly of chromatographic columns.

The expected outcomes include faster measurement times and the possibility of imaging molecular weight distributions at a new level of detail. This project could place Australia at the cutting edge of size-exclusion chromatography phase design in partnership with a leading manufacturer of stationary phases.

Soft materials containing hierarchy via 3D sacrificial micro-moulding

Project leader

Associate Professor Tim Dargaville

Dates

2016-2020

Project summary

The project seeks to develop sophisticated new polymeric materials and devices not possible using current manufacturing techniques. The project will focus on the development of a 3D moulding process for generating soft materials containing precise channels decorated with defined molecules.

Intended outcomes include a fundamental understanding of the 3D moulding process, new polymers and advanced tools for bioengineers for future applications such as tissue transplants, cell guides for treating spinal cord injuries, soft robotics, and microfluidic devices to study cancer metastasis.

Contact us