Imagine what you could create by combining the natural genius of biology with the latest advances in technology? Think of nature-inspired nanobots seeking out and destroying disease, bone implants that grow themselves and handheld sensors that can instantly diagnose cancer.
Our investigators are exploring novel ways to capture and store energy and to absorb greenhouse gas emissions. The goal is to take new energy solutions to the nation and the world to help create a more sustainable future.
This theme is about predicting what tomorrow’s devices might need in terms of research, then undertaking that research today. We also work with industry to enable them to adopt and adapt this latest research. The potential in New Zealand’s High Value Manufacturing (HVM) sector is vast and we are tapping into that potential.
August 22, 2019
Te Papa’s Nature exhibit features some of our scientists' work creating materials for energy technol...
August 22, 2019
Two DiscoveryCamp alumni talk about their time on the camp and where it has led them since.
February 20, 2019
The challenges facing New Zealand and the world today - clean water, renewable energy, climate change - will be solved by tomorrow's scientists and engineers - sitting in our classrooms right now, ready to be inspired. They need new materials and new technology based on those materials that haven't been discovered yet.
That's what the MacDiarmid Institute does. We are New Zealand's best scientists, engineers and educators, unified for a common goal: to make, understand, and use new materials to improve people's lives.
May 8, 2019
Associate Professor Nicola Gaston: Can you imagine a future where electricity is practically free, where there's clean water available for everyone and a simple blood test taken at home can help diagnose some diseases?
The technology that can make each of those things possible is based on materials science. Materials are all around us; this coffee cup, this table, even this sugar I might put in the coffee. When we make things really small, as we do in nanotechnology, we create a material that has most of its substance at the surface. With sugar, that means it dissolves quickly. But in general what it means is that we can control the properties of that material with great precision. So we can take a material, any material - it could be a metal or it could be plastic - and we can play with the surface and give it new abilities. For example, we could make it anti-bacterial or we could make it absorb more light.
The MacDiarmid Institute is a network of New Zealand's best materials scientists. Materials science is the basis of all high-tech manufacturing, including sustainable environmental innovations such as new solar cells or carbon capture technologies for climate change mitigation. We work with existing industries and we also spinout new companies. In the past 15 years we have spun out 16 new companies.
Dr Ray Thomson: One of the really exciting things that the Investigators at MacDiarmid are working on is across this whole climate change area. Sequestering carbon dioxide, improving the efficiency of photovoltaic cells through to really advanced battery storage.
Associate Professor Nicola Gaston: If we want that future, a materially sustainable future, where everyone around the world can have clean water, personalised medicine, free electricity, we need materials technologies. In the MacDiarmid Institute we bring materials scientists together and we partner with industry to create intellectual property, jobs and wealth for New Zealand.
August 22, 2019
September 4, 2019 - September 4, 2019
January 12, 2020 - January 17, 2020
April 8, 2019
We are a network of committed biologists, chemists, physicists and engineers who collaborate to develop innovations that will both solve big problems and boost the New Zealand economy.
Our research is creating new technologies to aid the transition to a more sustainable way of life and make our world a better place.
We have ongoing partnerships with community groups, museums and other organisations to help us take science out of the lab to make it accessible, exciting and inspiring.
Wang, M., Baek, P., Akbarinejad, A., Barker, D. & Travas-Sejdic, J. Conjugated polymers and composites for stretchable organic electronics. Journal of Materials Chemistry C 7, 5534–5552 (2019).
Soffe, R., Altenhuber, N., Bernach, M., Remus-Emsermann, M. N. P. & Nock, V. Comparison of replica leaf surface materials for phyllosphere microbiology. PLoS ONE 14, (2019).
Murmu, P. P., Chong, S. V., Storey, J., Rubanov, S. & Kennedy, J. Secondary phase induced electrical conductivity and improvement in thermoelectric power factor of zinc antimonide films. Materials Today Energy 13, 249–255 (2019).
Zhang, X., Zhao, Y., Zhao, Y., Shi, R., Waterhouse, G. I. N. & Zhang, T. A Simple Synthetic Strategy toward Defect-Rich Porous Monolayer NiFe-Layered Double Hydroxide Nanosheets for Efficient Electrocatalytic Water Oxidation. Advanced Energy Materials (2019).
Ullstad, F., Bioletti, G., Chan, J. R., Proust, A., Bodin, C., Ruck, B. J., Trodahl, J. & Natali, F. Breaking Molecular Nitrogen under Mild Conditions with an Atomically Clean Lanthanide Surface. ACS Omega 4, 5950–5954 (2019).
Storey, J. G., Pantoja, A. E., Jiang, Z., Badcock, R. A. & Bumby, C. W. Optimizing Rotor Speed and Geometry for an Externally Mounted HTS Dynamo. IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity 29, (2019).
The spectrum of science from fundamental to applied is like a piece of string. While laypeople might only see the useful end, if you shorten the string – leaving the basic research behind – you lose out on the length. MacDiarmid Institute research connects those two ends of the piece of string, linking fundamental synthesis and materials chemistry with potential applications.
I am very interested in developing scientific strategies for materials related research in New Zealand, building such strategies onto an internationally recognized level and seeing lab-based ideas pushed through to end-use.