Skip to content
Science and Engineering a university for the real world

Overview

Nanoscience reveals and explains the novel and complex behaviour of matter on the scale of nanometres.

We collaborate on projects across chemistry, physics, materials science, surface science, optics and nanomechanics, with the goal of creating a detailed understanding of how to control the structure of nanomaterials.

Our ultimate aim is to develop and advance functionalities that enable emerging technologies and address challenges faced by society.

Study

Our Nanotechnology minor is designed for physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering and process engineering students with an interest in nanoscience and its applications in nanotechnology.

You will gain knowledge and skills commonly needed in nanotechnology research which can help you pursue a career in:

  • academic and industrial research
  • experimental apparatus designer
  • laboratory assistant
  • sales of scientific equipment.
Dr Jennifer MacLeod
Discipline Leader, Nanoscience

Our experts

Our discipline brings together a diverse team of experts who deliver world-class education and achieve breakthroughs in research.

Explore our staff profiles to discover the amazing work our researchers are contributing to.

Meet our experts

Dr Dongchen Qi
Position
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Nanoscience,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research fields
Condensed Matter Physics
Nanotechnology
Materials Engineering
Email
Dr Tuquabo Tesfamichael
Position
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Nanoscience,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research fields
Condensed Matter Physics
Materials Engineering
Email
Dr Josh Lipton-Duffin
Position
Senior Research Officer
Division / Faculty
Nanoscience,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research fields
Condensed Matter Physics
Other Physical Sciences
Physical Chemistry (incl. Structural)
Email
Dr Bharati Gupta
Position
Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Nanoscience,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research field
Nanotechnology
Email
Dr Jonathan Love
Position
Research Fellow (Electrochemistry)
Division / Faculty
Nanoscience,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Email
Dr Konstantin Faershteyn
Position
Research Associate
Division / Faculty
Nanoscience,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research field
Nanotechnology
Email
Dr Joseph Fernando
Position
Research Associate
Division / Faculty
Nanoscience,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research field
Nanotechnology
Email
Dr Kimal Wasalathilake
Position
Research Associate
Division / Faculty
Nanoscience,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research fields
Nanotechnology
Theoretical and Computational Chemistry
Chemical Engineering
Email
Dr Chao Zhang
Position
Research Associate
Division / Faculty
Nanoscience,
School of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering
Research field
Nanotechnology
Email

Page 2 of 2

Courses

Bachelor of Science (Chemistry)

"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."

Jack

Bachelor of Science (Chemistry)

Bachelor of Science (Physics)

"In my first semester in the Bachelor of Science, I completed the unit Quantitative Methods in Science. This gave me the skills to do real-world research and I co-authored a conference paper in robotics in the following semester. QUT has helped me develop my research toolbox and has supported me as early as possible to flourish in a number of research environments."

James Beattie

Bachelor of Science (Physics)

Research

Nanoscale materials have intriguing electronic, photonic and mechanical structure and properties, putting them at the forefront of applications in:

  • biomaterials
  • charge storage, such as batteries and supercapacitors
  • light sources
  • sensors
  • solar energy conversion
  • superconductivity.

Our researchers collaborate on projects in specialised research groups and facilities across disciplines and institutions:

Student topics

Emerging materials

A range of research projects are available in experimental and computational studies of materials with properties tailored for specific emerging applications.

Examples include:

  • 2D materials
  • advanced materials interfaces
  • high-performance boron materials
  • materials with high permanent porosity, such as zeolites and covalent organic frameworks
  • nanocomposites
  • nanowires/nanotubes
  • thin films.

View related student topics

Green energy

A number of our researchers are working on reliable and high performing methods to convert, store and transmit energy, including:

  • batteries
  • high temperature superconductors and supercapacitors
  • photovoltaics.

View related student topics

Light/matter interaction

Our nanoscience researchers are working on a number of topics in applied optics, with specific strengths in technique development for:

  • light-emitting nanomaterials
  • optical measurements
  • plasmonic nanostructures.

View related student topics

Plasma nanoscience

Plasmas are a versatile tool for materials synthesis and modification. We have projects available including:

  • plasma catalysis
  • plasmas for cleantech applications
  • plasma medicine
  • plasma nanotechnology.

View related student topics

Surface science

Our projects in surface science involve using clean, crystalline surfaces as the foundation for making and studying new materials on an atom-by-atom or molecule-by-molecule basis.

View related student topics

View our student topics

Projects

Xe-plasma dual beam for advanced future materials

Project leaders
Dates

2018-2019

Project summary

This ARC Linkage infrastructure, equipment and facilities funded project aims to establish a state of the art Xe-Plasma dual-beam facility providing characterisation and fabrication capabilities to Australia’s research community. The project will use two beams - one Xe, the other electrons - to mill the surface of bulk materials which are subsequently analysed by electron or ion beam techniques to determine atomic-scale microstructure(s) and compositions.

Anticipated outcomes are advanced materials engineering and new knowledge about ancient and future materials. This is expected to provide significant advances across a variety of fields including material science, engineering and geology and enhance trans-disciplinary collaborations.

Characterisation of mechanical behaviour of lithiated silicon

Project leader

Professor Cheng Yan

Dates

2018-2020

Project summary

This project aims to develop novel characterisation and numerical techniques, therefore aiming to solve the problem of mechanical failure in silicon based high energy density lithium-ion batteries. This will be achieved through development of novel techniques for in situ microscopy observation, nano-mechanics testing and atomistic modeling. The expected outcomes are effective solutions for development of reliable and efficient battery systems.

This project will provide significant benefits in the development of new power sources and energy storage devices for mobile electronics, electric vehicle and sustainable energy industries.

In situ electron microscopy toward new materials and applications

Project leader
Professor Dmitri Golberg
Dates

2017-2022

Project summary

This project will probe fundamental mechanical, electrical, thermal, optical, optoelectronic and photovoltaic properties of diverse nanostructures, targeting novel materials for structural and green energy applications. We will use spatially-resolved, dynamic in situ transmission electron microscopy. These techniques allow for direct measurement of nanomaterial (1D nanotubes and nanowires and 2D graphene-like nanosheets) response to external mechanical, electrical, optical and thermal stimuli . This will enable design of new ultralight and superstrong structural composites and green energy nanomaterials, such as solar cells, touch panels, batteries, supercapacitors, field-effect transistors, light sensors and displays.

Enabling diamond nanoelectronics with metal oxide induced surface doping

Project leader
Dr Dongchen Qi
Dates

2017-2021

Project summary

This project aims to enable diamond nanoelectronic devices with superior stability, robust operation and novel functionalities. Due to its unique properties, diamond is highly desirable for building high-power, high-frequency electronic devices, particularly for applications in electrical power control/conversion and telecommunication. Realisation of this prospect, however, has been impeded by the lack of effective and stable doping methods. This project seeks innovative ways to address this challenge by delivering a high-performance diamond device platform, providing the key to unlocking the full potential of diamond. This project will help position Australia at the forefront of diamond nanoelectronics research by laying the foundations for the practical use of diamond for radio frequency (RF) power electronics. The high performance and technically viable device technologies developed through this project will enable diamond electronic devices for applications in telecommunications, radars and next-generation electricity grid which underpin Australia's Science and Research Priorities.

Plasma-enabled processes of high-quality graphen films in touch screen devices

Project leader

Professor Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov

Dates

2016-2019

Project summary

The project aims to develop novel plasma-enabled processes for low-cost, energy-efficient, and scalable growth of high-quality graphene films for applications in touch screen, solar cell and other devices. It aims to discover non-equilibrium plasma-surface interactions enabling nucleation and growth of graphene films with large and low-defect domains on metal catalysts at low temperatures, and then develop energy-efficient, environment-friendly, and scalable fabrication and device transfer processes. These processes are designed to retain high quality of graphene films upon scale-up and will be compatible with the existing and emerging applications in touch screens and other devices.The expected outcomes include fundamental understanding and novel practical approaches to control synthesis and device integration of two-dimensional atomically-thin materials.

Reducing carbon dioxide to useful products using solar energy

Project leader

Dr Jingsan Xu

Dates

2016-2019

Project summary

The project aims to develop novel photocatalysts for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) to useful products using solar energy. Carbon dioxide (CO2) photoreduction is attracting growing attention because of its potential to mitigate CO2 emissions and convert the captured CO2 to chemical commodities. The project also plans to identify the photocatalytic mechanisms of the catalysts by investigating the reaction systems, such as the interface morphology, structure coherence and energy alignment of the component phases and reactant. Innovative technologies in the field of sunlight-driven photocatalysis have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Characterisation of mechanical behaviour of TiO2 nanotube thin films

Project leader

Professor Cheng Yan

Dates

2015-2017

Project summary

Vertically aligned titanium oxide (TiO2) nanotube arrays have demonstrated remarkable properties for application in dyesensitised solar cell, photocatalysis, self-cleaning coating, purification of pollutants and orthopaedic implants. More excitingly, their architecture and dimensions can be precisely controlled using anodisation of titanium (Ti), creating considerable scientific interest and practical importance.

This project aims to develop novel techniques for determining the mechanical behaviour of TiO2 nanotube arrays and its dependence on crystal structure and geometrical parameters. The outcomes are expected to provide solutions to development of robust TiO2 and other nanotube arrays for broad applications in sustainable energy and tissue engineering.

Nanoscale electrochemical imaging of catalyst inks for water oxidation

Project leader

Professor Anthony O'Mullane

Dates

2018-2020

Project summary

This project aims to reduce the cost of current water splitting technology by making new catalysts from earth abundant materials that will ensure a sustainable technological solution for the storage of renewable energy. This technology is an excellent solution to storing energy from intermittent renewable energy sources such as solar as it generates hydrogen which is a clean fuel.

Using new techniques that can image the catalyst at the nanoscale while it is operating is expected to provide the knowledge for developing the next generation of water splitting electrolysers that can be utilised by households and businesses for storing solar or wind energy.

Antibacterial impact assessment of nanopillar surfaces on titanium implants

Project leader
Project summary

This project aims to further understand the bactericidal properties of nano-pillared/textured surfaces, onto orthopaedic implants. It will do so by mimicking the nano-pillar structures derived from cicada wings by using Helium ion microscopy (HIM) and also Hydro Thermal techniques. The project also aims to study the physical mechanisms of the fracture of bacteria using numerical modelling.

This project will result in new generation implants with minimal bacterial infection that could result in cost savings to the Australian healthcare, improved quality of life in aged population, and may lead to the establishment of new implant industry sector in Australia.

Contact us