Advanced Synthetic Materials Group
The Advanced Synthetic Materials Group (ASMG) is the major research grouping in Chemistry. The group brings together researchers who are interested in the design, synthesis and characterization of materials that will further our knowledge in, as well as applications of, novel inorganic and organic materials. Interests cover a good blend of development and applied chemical science. In particular, the ASMG deals with research into areas such as inorganic and coordination chemistry, medicinal chemistry (including new pharmaceuticals), the extraction of metals, colloid and surface chemistry, heterogeneous and homogeneous oxidation catalysis, organic and natural product chemistry, and molecularly imprinted polymers.
The group also has interests in the chemical absorption (and regeneration) of CO2 from flue gases from coal-burning powers stations, and works heavily with the CSIRO Center for Energy Technology in this area.
The ASMG consists of 8 members of the Discipline of Chemistry, spread over both the Callaghan and Central Coast Campuses. The diverse range of skills of the group members is a key to a capacity to evolve and solve new problems.
The group is heavily instrument-based, which is a consequence of the nature of the above studies, and employs a range of instrumental techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, virtually all forms of optical spectroscopy for materials characterization (e.g. IR, UV-visible, fluorescence, CD, etc.) and chemical analysis (e.g. ICP-AES and AAS), mass spectrometry and GC-mass spectrometry, atomic force microscopy, surface area characterization (chemisorption and physisorption), thermogravimetric analysis and differential thermal analysis, and scanning electron microscopy.
Several of our members are also involved with the Priority Research Centres (PRC) of Optical Electronics, and the cross-faculty PRCs of Advanced Particle Processing, and Energy.
The members of the ASMG are:
Prof. G. Lawrance
Prof. A. McCluskey
A./Prof. M. Maeder
A./Prof. E. Wanless
Dr M. Bowyer (Central Coast Campus - Ourimbah)
Dr. R. Burns
Dr. C. Holdsworth
Dr. I. van Altena
ASMG members are currently active in research in the following areas:
(a) Advanced materials: helical supramolecular metal complexes, metal complexes of rigid ligands, ionic liquids and waterless mineral processing, oxidation catalysts for small hydrocarbons (Prof. G. Lawrance, A./Prof. M. Maeder, Dr. R. Burns, Dr. M. Bowyer).
(b) Medicinal and organic chemistry: chemical syntheses of targeted drug libraries, molecularly imprinted polymers and biosensors, drug lead compounds from marine organisms (Prof. A. McCluskey, Dr C. Holdsworth, Dr. M. Bowyer, Dr. I van Altena).
(c) Chemometrics: chemical data analysis (A./Prof. M. Maeder)
(d) Colloids and surface science: Surfactant and polymer stability at the solid/solution interface, polymeric colloids, colloid stability (A./Prof. E. Wanless)
(e) CO2 capture technology: chemical studies of amine solvents for the capture of CO2 (A./Prof. M. Maeder, Prof. G. Lawrance, Dr. R. Burns).