AUT scientists Dr Marcus Jones and Dr Jack Chen have been made Associate Investigators at the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.
The institute is a national network of New Zealand’s leading scientists working collaboratively on high-level research in materials science and nanotechnology.
Dr Jones who is a senior lecturer in chemistry will research the way nanoparticles interact with light.
“I am interested in how nanoparticles absorb light, emit light and convert its energy to different forms. By studying light-induced processes in nanoparticles, I aim to develop new ways to harvest photons for solar energy and enhance fluorescence for displays and biosensing applications.
Chemistry lecturer Dr Chen will work on nanoparticles and molecules and the way they self-organise into functional architectures.
“We are currently introducing responsive elements into systems that allow them to respond to light, transmit signals and demonstrate adaptation. Such systems offer possibilities for the development of molecular machines, smart materials and molecular electronics.”
Research by institute investigators includes generating new knowledge on materials which generate electricity from light, nanoporous materials for energy and environment-related applications, functional nanomaterials inspired by biology for application in energy, medicine and sensing, and new nano-tools for cellular studies.
While the institute is hosted by Victoria University of Wellington, investigators work throughout New Zealand. Named after Kiwi-born Alan MacDiarmid who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2000, the MacDiarmid Institute was New Zealand’s first Centre of Research Excellence.