Dr Deanna D'Alessandro
BSc PhD JCU
ARC Queen Elizabeth (II) Fellow
F11 - Chemistry Building
The University of Sydney
- BSc (Hons I & Medal), James Cook University, 2001
- PhD (cum laude), James Cook University, 2006
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular Electronics Group, University of Sydney, 2006
- Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California at Berkeley, 2007-2009
- Dow Chemical Company Fellow, American-Australian Association, 2007
- Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellow, 2007-2009
- University of Sydney Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2010
- L'Oreal Australia for Women in Science Fellow, 2010
- Australian Research Council QEII Fellow, 2010-2016
- Synthetic inorganic chemistry
- New materials for Greenhouse Gas capture and sequestration
- Electron and energy transfer in purely organic and metal-organic frameworks
- Solution- and solid-state spectroelectrochemical methods
- Fundamental and applied aspects of mixed valency
Our research spans the areas of inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry and materials science and focuses on the development of functional inorganic materials that exhibit novel electronic, optical and magnetic phenomena. Potential applications range from the capture of greenhouse gases to sensors, optoelectronics devices and photocatalysis. The key aspect is gaining an understanding of the fundamental relationships between the structural features of the solution- and solid-state materials and their physical properties.
Carbon Dioxide Capture: The development of more efficient processes for carbon dioxide (CO2) capture is considered a key to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions implicated in global warming. Highly porous three-dimensional solids known as metal-organic frameworks will be developed for use as CO2 capture materials and will be characterised using a range of techniques (X-ray and neutron diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis and gas sorption measurements). The ultimate goal is the development of industrially-viable materials that can be readily integrated into industrial processes.
Radical MOFs and Redox-Active Materials: This project involves the design and synthesis of purely organic and metal-organic frameworks that exhibit the highly sought-after property of redox-activity (i.e. electronic conductivity). The new materials will be based on "radical" ligands and mixed-valence metal clusters of Mo, W, Ru and Os, amongst others. Solid-state electrochemical and spectroelectrochemical techniques will be developed to investigate the conductivity properties. The opportunities for advances at a fundamental and applied level are immense, with potential applications ranging from sensors to molecular electronics devices.
Photo-Active Metal-Organic Frameworks: Recently, methodologies for the postsynthetic covalent functionalisation of metal-organic frameworks have opened up fascinating prospects for building complexity into the pores. This project involves the synthesis of materials as "photoswitchable molecular sieves" in which light can be used to modulate the size and polarity of the pores. Measurements on the structural and physical properties of the materials will require the development of novel techniques to probe the light-activated gas permeation properties.
Mixed Valency in "Excited" Molecules: The complex interplay between electronic and magnetic interactions is ubiquitous in chemical and physical systems (e.g., solid-state superconductors, spintronics devices) and in metalloenzymes in nature. Experimental studies in which these phenomena coexist are extremely rare. This will be addressed by developing dinuclear mixed-valence complexes which incorporate a series of bridging ligands that can mediate strong ferromagnetic coupling between metal ions with unpaired electrons. The findings will have significant implications for the experimental and theoretical understanding of systems which exhibit novel magnetic and electronic phenomena.
Teaching and supervision
CHEM2402 (Coordination Chemistry): 8 am Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Semester 2
CHEM3114 (Metal Complexes: Medicine and Materials): 11 am Mondays and 10 am, Fridays Semester 2
Current group: 5 PhD students, 2 Honours students, 1 Postdoctoral Fellow
Completions: 5 PhD students and 14 Honours graduates since 2011
(see our group page for more information about current group members and group alumni)
- Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Member Chartered Chemist
- American Chemical Society (Member)
- Association of Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of Declarations
Awards and honours
- Medal for Excellence for a Doctoral Research Thesis, James Cook University, 2006
- Cornforth Medal, Royal Australian Chemical Institute, 2006
- Winner "Fresh Science", 2006
- IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists, 2007
- R.H. Dalton Memorial Lecturer in Chemical Catalysis, California Institute of Technology, 2009
- Young Tall Poppy Science Award, Australian Institute of Policy and Science, 2011
- Distinguished Lectureship Award, The Chemical Society of Japan, 2012
- Rennie Medal, Royal Australian Chemical Institute, 2014
- ChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship, Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), 2015
In the media
You Tube - Mopping up Gases: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnjYd_SEt74
Harry Messel International Science School Lecture: http://vimeo.com/27327588
Ace Day Jobs!: http://www.abc.net.au/acedayjobs/cooljobs/profiles/s2102676.htm
American-Australian Association: http://vimeo.com/2508030
Here She Is!: http://heresheis.org.au/science-technology-and-innovation/2013/02/dr-deanna-dalessandro/
James Cook University Alumni: http://alumni.jcu.edu.au/page.aspx?pid=339
Young Tall Poppy: http://www.aips.net.au/tall-poppies/nsw-tall-poppies/past-nsw-tall-poppy-winners/young-tall-poppy-science-award-winners-nsw-2011/dr-deanna-dalessandro/
COSMOS magazine: http://cosmosmagazine.com/opinion/crystalising-new-vision/
PhD and master's project opportunities
- A Radical Approach to Multifunctional Coordination Solids; D'Alessandro D, Abrahams B, Robson R; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).
- Fabrication Facility for Oxygen-Sensitive Electronic Materials; Lakhwani G, McCamey D, Schmidt T, Gooding J, D'Alessandro D; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF).
- Perpetual account for AINSE grants for Deanna DAlessandro; D'Alessandro D; Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE)/Access to Facilities and/or Services.
- Thermogravimetric Analyser (TGA); Kepert C, D'Alessandro D, Perrier S, Hawkett B, Hibbs D, Wheate N, Harris A, Minett A, Ling C, Kennedy B; DVC Research/Equipment Grant.
- A State-of-the-art Magnetic Property Measurement Facility for the Development of Advanced Materials and Biomedical Technologies in the Sydney Basin; Li S, Amal R, Kepert C, Zhang C, Sheppard L, Zheng R, Kennedy B, Sahajwalla V, Guo Z, Ling C, D'Alessandro D, Klose F, Jiang X; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF).
- Advanced Functional Properties in Metal-Organic Frameworks; Kepert C, D'Alessandro D; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).
- Solving the Energy Waste Roadblock (SIEF Grant); Kepert C, D'Alessandro D; Science and Industry Endowment Fund/Research Support.
- Conducting Nanoporous Materials: toward Molecular Devices; D'Alessandro D; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).
- Electro- and Specto-electrochemical Characterisation of Metal-Organic Frameworks and Lanthanide-Based Solid State Materials; D'Alessandro D; Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE)/Awards.
- Ru L2,3-edge investigation of mixed valency by x-ray absorption spectroscopy; D'Alessandro D; Australian Synchrotron/International Access Program.
- Metal-organic frameworks for gas separations; D'Alessandro D; DVC Research/Bridging Support Grant.
- Light-Activated Nanoporous Materials for Gas Capture and Separations; D'Alessandro D; L'Oreal Australia/Women in Science Fellowship.
- Redox- and Photo- Active Metal-Organic Frameworks: Physical properties and application in gas separations; D'Alessandro D, Kepert C; DVC Research/Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Scheme.