Prof Sir Paul Callaghan


Prof Sir Paul Callaghan

Phone: +64 4 463 5945

Postal Address:

School of Chemical & Physical Sciences
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600
Wellington 6140

Research Interests

The Magnetic Resonance of Materials Group has specialized in developing NMR methodologies for the study of molecular dynamics and molecular organization in complex fluids, soft matter and porous materials. Complex fluids possess both solid and liquid-like properties, macroscopic memory and multiple phases, all of which arise from mesoscale or nanoscale structure. Examples are polymer melts and solutions, surfactant phases, liquid crystals, emulsions, microemulsions and colloidal suspensions. Soft matter includes most classes of complex fluids, as well as elastomers and biological tissue. Porous media comprise a solid or soft matter matrix in which a fluid phase is dispersed in either interconnected or isolated compartments of pores on length scales from nanometers to millimetres. The experimental methods used include multi-dimensional Pulsed Gradient Spin Echo NMR, NMR microscopy and NMR spectroscopy, augmented by mechanical rheometry and dynamic light scattering.


Post Doctoral Fellow

Jen Brown


Research Students

Bradley Douglas, PhD
Lauren Burcaw, PhD
Mark Hunter, PhD
Stefan Hill, PhD


Research Assistant

Wilfred Kittler


Research Theme

Soft Materials


Associated Content

Molecular basis of the properties soft materials: (Callaghan, McGrath, Williams(B), Hendy)

Uniquely powerful state-of-the-art experimental tools built on pioneering research in rheo-NMR, the amalgamation of nuclear magnetic resonance and its capacity for molecular insight, with rheology, the science of mechanical deformation, provide the opportunity to monitor molecular properties and macroscopic consequences concurrently. Furthermore, recently developed diffusion-correlation, -exchange and -spectral-analysis methods have proven powerful in measuring bilayer […]

Nano- and micro- fluidics and porous media (Callaghan, Hendy, Williams (B))

These methods will be combined with rapid micro-imaging based on rapid scan echo planar techniques, in order to investigate spatial heterogeneity. Additionally, combined spin-relaxation and gradient diffusion methods will be developed to investigate molecular dynamics using multi-dimensional NMR based on novel inverse Fourier and inverse Laplace methods.  Flow in nanochannels is also being studied using […]

A Place to Live

Please note: The forum date was rescheduled following the announcement that the General Election is to be held on 20 September – will go live from end of May. Presented by The MacDiarmid Institute and Victoria University of Wellington, in association with Wanganui District Council and the Royal Society of New Zealand. Delegates to the 2012 Transit of Venus Forum in […]

One person tells one person and so on and so on…

What starts a trend? What creates a habit? What defines a culture? What delivers more than at one time would have even been imagined? Our culture of excellence is driven by individuals who deliver outcomes beyond expectations. This, in turn, drives the desire to do even more, expect even more and ask others to do […]

OPINION: A small, advanced economy?

  I BORROW this title from a Statistics New Zealand commentary, which points out that in terms of the title we are probably not so advanced, despite a regular programme of government-to-government meetings with these economies with which we might like to be compared. As Shaun Hendy and Paul Callaghan’s 2013 book Get off the […]

Editorial: From There to Where?

  Ensuring maximum growth, evolution and rejuvenation through understanding, appreciating and acknowledging from where and how we began and ultimately greater rewards and outcomes.   Can anyone doubt that the future is strongest when built on a past from which we have learnt and grown?  That moving forward happens faster when we are led and […]

Chance Only Favours the Prepared Mind

Looking back at eleven years of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology   “When you’ve got the equipment, the expertise, and the space to think about problems in a different way, the research almost tells its own story.” Popular culture delights in the concept of scientific serendipity: Alexander Fleming discovering penicillin after forgetting […]