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Research_

Chemistry

Strengthening our leadership position in Australia and the world
The School of Chemistry has an international reputation for excellence in research, and consistently ranks among the top chemistry departments in Australia.

In 2016, members of the school secured:

  • more than $7 million in new research funding from the Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council, 
  • more than $1 million in other competitive research funding and
  • $21 million in private-sector investment in its spin-off companies.

Centres and initatives

We are home to:

Our research infrastructure, which underpins and supports our research programs includes state-of-the-art laboratories for chemical synthesis and  instruments for mass spectrometry, NMR spectrometry, Chromatography, thermophysical property measurements and X-ray scattering. You can read more about our facilities here.

Research highlights

We have made important advances in fundamental and applied chemistry, spanning energy conversion, biomedical research including new drug leads and synthetic methods, controlled-release and targeted drug delivery systems with strong nanoscience themes including studies of polymers, interfaces, framework materials, colloids, and crystalline and amorphous solids. 

Our research involves collaborations with scientists and engineers in academia, government, and industry both in Australia and internationally. Our leadership in many of these areas is built on our collective expertise and experience with major national and international research facilities including the Australian synchrotron and ANSTO OPAL research reactor.

Our academic staff and research students maintain a significant presence at national and international conferences, and many of our research students have been awarded prizes for their presentations at such conferences. This track record reflects the excellence of the research they are undertaking and their ability to deliver compelling presentations to an audience.

The school has 33 teaching & research academics, as well as over 55 research-only staff, including postdoctoral and research fellows, and about 30 research-active honorary and emeritus staff, working in about 40 research groups.

Research themes

Members of the School are active across all the traditional and emerging areas of modern chemical research. They are clustered around three multidisciplinary themes as follows. 

Abstract red crystal image

Functional energy materials

  • Molecular/ionic transport through solids
  • Large-scale energy storage and conversion
  • Batteries, fuel cells, selective molecular storage/separation/remediation
  • Metal-organic frameworks, ionic solids, polymers, ionic liquids
Graphic visualisation of self assembling nanomaterials

Self-assembled nanomaterials

  • Nanoscale interactions in materials and interfaces
  • “Smart” energy-efficient materials
  • Molecular assembly in complex fluids and at interfaces
  • Nanostructured functional surfaces, polymer nanoparticles and nano-systems
Graphic visualisation of neural pathways

Molecular innovations in health

  • Chemical signalling, neurotransmission
  • Ageing, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases
  • Diagnostics and therapeutics (“theranostics”)
  • Drug design/discovery, biosensing/imaging, drug delivery