The QUT Centre for Materials Science is the fundamental scientific engine room for materials innovation, providing materials-based solutions for QUT’s application driven Centres and research strengths. The Centre fosters emerging research talent from the PhD to the Early Career Researcher (ECR) level, while providing research space and freedom to the leaders in their field.

The Centre fuses cross-disciplinary fundamental research expertise within QUT, enabling a coherent research space for materials discovery. The Centre takes an atomistic and molecular approach to materials design, as our ability to manipulate single atoms and molecules and to observe the changes they undergo is critical for the design of materials with precise and adaptable properties. Of particular focus is the interface of matter with its surroundings, which controls function.

The Centre has outstanding research strengths in:

  • soft matter materials
  • hard condensed matter materials
  • computation, prediction and modelling
  • analytical technique development.

The goal of the Centre is to innovate, accelerate and translate scientific material discoveries to transformative technologies that will assist in overcoming global and national challenges in chemical syntheses, construction industries, green energy demands, environmental change, and sustainable manufacturing. The Centre invents, designs and optimises diverse new materials, including nanomaterials, polymers and metals and find the smartest pathways of controlling and tuning their properties and functions toward reliable and predictable Real-World applications.

Latest news

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Careers Expo July 1 2021, 3-6pm

The SEF HDR Student Society is organising a careers expo specifically for STEM higher degree research students. The expo will include both academic and industry representatives, across numerous science and engineering disciplines, providing an opportunity to both connect and collaborate.   JULY 1, 2021 | 3-6 PM Z BLOCK FOYER – LEVEL…

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Winter Research Experience Program now open

Our Winter Research Experience Program gives undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in a research project for approximately four weeks during the winter holidays. The program is open to STEM students in second year or above, offers paid, hands-on research experience and the opportunity to explore the possibilities of…

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Carbon dots from human hair boost solar cells

QUT researchers have used carbon dots, created from human hair waste sourced from a Brisbane barbershop, to create a kind of “armour” to improve the performance of cutting-edge solar technology. n a study published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A, the researchers led by Professor Hongxia Wang in collaboration with Associate

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Carbon capture process produces hydrogen and construction materials

QUT scientists have developed a process to capture carbon dioxide from the air into water and store it as non-toxic calcium carbonate (chalk), a key ingredient for cement production and other products, all potentially powered by solar or wind energy. PhD researcher Olawale Oloye and Professor Anthony O’Mullane from the QUT Centre for…

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Turning red clay into white gold for Queensland’s economic future

Queensland has an opportunity to value-add along its battery materials (Li-ion) supply chain and other strong industries to ensure economic stability post-COVID but it will require a coordinated approach according to a QUT expert. Associate Professor Sara Couperthwaite, a QUT researcher focused on commercial outcomes, addressed…

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Algorithms and lasers tame chemical reactivity

Researchers have developed an algorithm for photochemistry, bringing the burgeoning field a step closer to the goal of using different colours of light like a switch to activate a range of different chemical reactions in one single material. A QUT research team, consisting of PhD student Jan Philipp Menzel, Professor Christopher…

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Big step towards small wires

In a step towards the goal of shrinking electronic devices to the molecular scale, an international team of researchers has developed a stable silver wire that is just one atom wide. Researchers from Fudan University in Shanghai, Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science and QUT’s Centre for Materials Science have published the…

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Super solution in hybrid capacitor development

In a step towards a new type of energy storage, QUT researchers have developed a hybrid supercapacitor that offers the best of both worlds in energy storage. Read more about A/Prof. Deepak Dubal, Prof. Nunzio Motta and PhD researcher Michael Horn’s newest research published in Advanced Materials, reporting on the development of a hybrid…

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Multiple PhD and Masters scholarships available now

Thinking of studying materials science? We have multiple PhD and Masters scholarships available now. Click here for more details and how to apply…

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When chemistry with green light mimics what happens in life

The team has reported on this world-first example of a reversible, light-triggered process to fold polymers into single chain nanoparticles in the flagship journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Chemical Science. The research was conducted by lead author and QUT PhD student Daniel Kodura, with QUT’s Australian Research Council (ARC…

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Plasma-developed new material fundamental to Internet of Things

A new light-energised material that is much brighter and more dynamic than existing photoluminescent material could power future devices fundamental to the Internet of Things. New material could make Internet of Things and other devices more effective, rapid and cheaper to produce It could be used to develop new transistor devices for…

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Bushfire Destruction Is Caused By Wind As Well As Heat — So How Can We Protect Ourselves?

With bushfire season approaching, and after the devastating fires over the black summer of 2019–2020, new research into how and why houses are destroyed during bushfire events is welcome news. Professor Mahen Mahendran from QUT’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is spear-heading emerging research that could lead to improved…

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ARC Discovery Project funding success

QUT has been awarded $1,200,955 for three ARC Linkage Projects and $4,917,549 for 13 Discovery Projects. Seven of the Discovery Projects are led by researchers from our Centre: Professor Aijun Du for discovery and design of 2D ferromagnets for nanoscale electronics $350,000; and for boosting carbon dioxide reduction via surface and…

Dr Jun Mei
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Materials science in full focus

Zinc oxide nanostructures by Jun Mei – first place winner and Materials Science category prize winner, 2020 Science in Focus competition. Meet the materials scientists behind QUT’s most striking research images of 2020 Dr Jun Mei isn’t one to boast, although he has every right to. The materials scientist’s research quest to…

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2020 QUT Science in Focus winners revealed

A striking and colourful image of nanostructures by materials science expert Dr Jun Mei has taken out the 2020 QUT Science in Focus Competition as well as the inaugural QUT Centre for Materials Science prize. The winning image by Dr Jun Mei illustrates how zinc oxide nanostructures show promise in efficiently converting light into…

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Graphene layer to protect communication systems

A collaborative research project involving QUT and Defence aims to develop a printable ultrathin layer of carbon to shield sensitive electronics from electromagnetic radiation. Professor Nunzio Motta, from the QUT Centre for Materials Science, and Dr Kamal Gupta, from Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group are investigating the use…

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Australia’s new electron microscope for studying atomic processes in real-time

Our researchers will be able to perform unprecedented experiments with unique access to a state-of-the-art high-resolution transmission electron microscope, allowing them to view real-time processes at an atomic scale – trillionths of a metre. QUT has the first Australian-based TEM-ARM200F ‘NeoARM’ Atomic Resolution Transmission Electron…

Amandeep Singh Pannu with PhD Supervisor, Associate Professor Prashant Sonar
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High-achievement award goes to Amandeep Singh Pannu

Congratulations to Amandeep Singh Pannu who recently received the QUT Science and Engineering Faculty HDR High Achiever Award. Amandeep is a PhD student based at our Centre, focusing on the ‘synthesis of 2D material and their application in opto-electronic devices’. In the past three years Amandeep has been working on a novel method to…

Ken Ostrikov
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Professor Ostrikov joins advisory board of leading nanoscale experts

This month Professor Ken Ostrikov became one of the newest members of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s joint Nanoscale and Nanoscale Advances Advisory Board. Professor Ostrikov has joined the board of expert scientists working across the breadth of nanoscience and nanotechnology. He is widely recognised as a pioneer and leading authority…

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Centre Co-Director Professor Kathryn-Fairfull Smith's academic promotion announced

We congratulate Kathryn Fairfull-Smith on her promotion to Professor in recognition of her outstanding academic and leadership achievements, announced in QUT’s 2020 promotion round this week. We wish her every success as she continues to inspire us both with her academic contribution and in her role as Co-Director of our Centre…

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Academic promotions for seven of our researchers

The outcomes of the QUT’s 2020 promotion round to Professor and Associate Professor were announced this week. In recognition of their outstanding achievements, seven of our investigators were promoted amongst 23 in science and engineering. We are proud to congratulate: Professor Kathryn Fairfull-Smith Professor Esa Jaatinen Professor

Dr Dongchen Qi from the QUT Centre for Materials Science.
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Diamonds could be the ‘crown jewel’ in future electronics

Diamonds could be everyone’s best friend with new research unlocking hidden properties for next-generation electronics. Dr Dongchen Qi from the QUT Centre for Materials Science led research that transformed the intrinsically inert diamond into a powerful semiconductor capable of sustaining very high-power and withstanding conditions too…

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JEOL-200ARM “NeoARM” – new high-resolution TEM at QUT

Double-aberration correction, pulse electron gun, tunable 30-200 kV JEOL-200ARM “NeoARM” high-resolution TEM has just arrived at QUT…

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PhD and Masters Top-up scholarships available now

We are currently offering: PhD top-up scholarships valued at up to $12,500 a year for three years Master of Philosophy top-up scholarships valued at up to $12,500 year for 18 months. Our top-up scholarships are awarded on the basis of: alignment with the Centre’s strategic plan gender equity student merit eligibility criteria. We…

QUT Science in Focus is the annual competition that seeks to uncover the most surprising, beautiful and technically innovative visuals of QUT research.
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Science in Focus competition has a new Centre for Materials Science prize

Entries are now open for Science in Focus – the annual competition that seeks to uncover the most surprising, beautiful and technically innovative visuals of QUT research – with a new QUT Centre for Materials Science prize! This year a prize of $750 will be awarded for the best image or video relating to materials science – a field of…

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Welcome Dr Ena Luis

We welcome Dr Ena Luis to the Centre as a new Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Ena has recently completed his PhD at UNSW on photoredox chemistry of ruthenium(II) polypyridyl complexes. Within the Centre, Ena is investigating advanced properties of interlocked supramolecular structures in the gas phase, to discover unique reactivity and…

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Forging molecular bonds with green light

QUT researchers have created a new molecular coupling tool employing both green light and pH triggers that has potential for use in applications such as drug delivery and 3D cell culture platforms. Their research has been published in the journal Nature Communications. The researchers designed photoreactive molecules that…

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When cars crash into buildings: how new materials can reduce damage caused by vehicle collisions

Damage from a car entering a residential building. Image: David Dunning Minster FM North Yorkshire When a car collides with a building at speed, the damage is catastrophic: the vehicle punches through the brick and mortar exterior causing structural damage to the building, and potentially injuring or killing the driver, passengers, and…

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The Future of Batteries from a Chemistry and Safety Perspective – Webinar

Presented by Professor Jose A. Alarco in conjunction with Engineers Australia   Professor Alarco will discuss the history of the evolution of the lithium-ion battery chemistries, focussing on key material characteristics which enhanced performance, as well as more recent battery chemistry developments, key safety considerations and an…

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Bridging the Research-Industry Divide

Bridging the gap between fundamental research and product development requires a substantial, risk-moderated investment that is not only possible but necessary, according to materials scientist Professor Jose Alarco.   Alarco is an expert in the complex world of batteries — everything from energy-dense materials, storage and life cycle…

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Ostrikov honoured for his pioneering physics in plasma nanoscience

QUT leading professor and pioneer of plasma nanoscience, Professor Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov, has joined the ranks of writers Leo Tolstoy and J.W. Goethe, polymath Alexander Humbodlt, and geographer and statistician, Pyotr Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky. V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University – one of Ukraine’s oldest and top universities &#8211…

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Looking for a PhD in Materials Science, Chemistry or Physics?

Are you interested in how we will power our futures?   We have an open PhD position investigating new battery technologies sponsored by Calix in collaboration with ARC Training Centre for Future Energy Storage Technologies.   Details on eligibility and how to apply are here

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Truly Biodegradable Plastic That Could End Ocean Waste

Imagine a shopping bag with the strength of Kevlar® but the biodegradability of whatever’s sitting at the bottom of your crisper. Year 2020 marks 100 years of modern plastic and an undesirable environmental impact, but with the right chemistry, our old love affair with plastics could be reignited by new research into intelligent polymers…

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Human hair used to make flexible displays for smart devices

Associate Professor Prashant Sonar, Professor Ken (Kostya) Ostrikov and the research team, including PhD student Amandeep Singh Pannu, and in collaboration with Professor Qin Li of Griffith University, have developed a method of turning the small hair strands into carbon nanodots, which are tiny, uniform dots that are one-millionth of a…

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How To Stop Investors From Falling Asleep In Your Science Pitch

Your initial R&D concept is compelling and the science backs it up, but how do you convince investors to fund your project without having them fall asleep during your pitch? Battery technology expert Professor Jose Alarco learned how by trial and error over 12 years building an R&D consultancy before re-joining academia to secure new…

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Plasmonic ‘Light Tweezers’ Use Solar Energy To Move Molecules

In a scientific breakthrough, Dr Sarina Sarina from the QUT Centre for Materials Science has used sunlight to power a targeted and reversible process for chemical reactions that could be used to capture and convert molecules from raw materials into ingredients for medicines, intermediates and other valuable products. Molecules are 10,000…

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Local manufacturing post COVID-19 will be unquestionable and batteries should be on Australia’s to-do list.

COVID-19 has forced many countries with large mining activities to consider substantially boosting mining operation automation for which next-generation batteries can play a major role, according to Professor Jose Alarco. Alarco leads research on new battery materials and superconductors through QUT, the Future Battery Industry CRC, and…

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Welcome Dr Hong Duc (David) Pham

We welcome Dr Hong Duc (David) Pham to the Centre as a new Postdoctoral Research Fellow. David has recently completed his PhD at QUT on organic hole transporting materials for perovskite solar cells. He has since been employed on the Catapult project led by Dr Deepak Dubal transforming cotton waste into value-added materials for next…

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Welcome Dr Ruhamah Yunis

We welcome Dr Ruhamah Yunis to the Centre as a new Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Ruhamah is a synthetic chemist with over nine years of research experience research experience specializing in synthesis of organic and inorganic compounds, ionic liquid, plastic crystals, metal complexes and polymer-based ionic liquids. She was most…