Role in the Centre
Michael is a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Chemistry and Physics and the Centre for Materials Science, working under Prof Kathleen Mullen. He possesses expertise in supramolecular chemistry, organic and inorganic synthesis, single-crystal X-ray diffraction and time-resolved photophysical analysis. Michael’s projects in the Centre include the investigation of the nature of flexible crystals and the preparation of materials with enhanced magnetic, photo-redox and luminescent properties via a supramolecular design approach. He has made significant scientific contributions in both of these areas. Michael is also developing and operates the new outreach program “Zoomed-in Science” through the Centre, which connects university scientists with primary school classes via online streaming software.
Michael completed his PhD in 2014 at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) which investigated how halogen bonding could be used to control the arrangement metal complexes in crystalline materials. He then conducted postdoctoral studies with the group of Prof Jack Clegg at The University of Queensland (UQ) where he worked on the preparation of metallosupramolecular polyhedra and investigated the mechanical properties and bending mechanism for elastically flexible crystals. Following this Michael took on a second postdoctoral role at UQ in the group of Dr Evan Moore where he further diversified his background with the synthesis and photophysical characterisation of photoactive metal complexes and metallosupramolecular polyhedra. In 2019 he returned to QUT into what continues to be his current role in the School of Chemistry and Physics and the Centre for Materials Science. He has published 26 research works in high-impact journals including Nature Chemistry, as well as a book chapter. His work has attracted over 450 citations leading to an H-index of 11. Michael held an AINSE Early Career Researcher Grant over 2020 – 2021 and has been awarded a total of $236,584 in research support. He is a Chartered Chemist of the Royal Australian Chemical Society.
“Controlling Spin Switching with Anionic Supramolecular Frameworks.” Pfrunder, M.; Whittaker, J.; Parsons, S.; Moubaraki, B.; Murray, K.; Moggach, S.; Sharma, N.; Micallef, A.; Clegg, J.; McMurtrie, J. Chem. Mater. 2020, 32, 3229-3234.
“Atomic resolution of structural changes in elastic crystals of copper(II) acetylacetonate” Worthy, A.; Grosjean, A.; Pfrunder, M.; Xu, Y.; Yan, C.; Edwards, G.; Clegg, J.; McMurtrie, J. Nat. Chem. 2018, 10, 65-69.
“Straightening out halogen bonds.” Setter, C.; Whittaker, J.; Brock, A.; Athukorala Arachchige, K.; McMurtrie, J.; Clegg, J.; Pfrunder, M. CrystEngComm 2020, 22, 1687-1690.
“Elastically Flexible Crystals have Disparate Mechanisms of Molecular Movement Induced by Strain and Heat.” Brock, A.; Whittaker, J.; Powell, J.; Pfrunder, M.; Grosjean, A.; Parsons, S.; McMurtrie, J.; Clegg, J. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 11325-11328.
“A three-dimensional cubic halogen-bonded network.” Pfrunder, M.; Brown, J.; Brock, A.: Grosjean, A.; Ward, J.; McMurtrie, J.; Clegg, J. Chem. Commun. 2018, 54, 3974-3976.