Building on our highly interdisciplinary track-record in soft materials, we will reimagine the use and reuse of materials themselves - from taonga 3D printed from traditional Māori materials, to creating a form of artificial cells that self-regulate and reconfigure for different functions.
Our research will support New Zealand's goal for 'net zero' carbon emissions by 2050. We will explore new materials that will catch CO2 from air and waste streams. We'll also design new catalysts that will turn CO2 into green fuels.
The data centres worldwide that support our digital lifestyles use almost ten times as much electricity per year as the whole of NZ. We will develop computing materials that process information more like a brain, and that use far less energy than conventional electronics.
Crosscutting these Research Programmes sits our Mātauranga Māori Research Programme. This programme provides a platform for the other research programmes, intersecting with the theme of sustainability.
November 9, 2023
Our Co-Director Prof Nicola Gaston has been awarded the Thomson Medal by Royal Society Te Apārangi f...
October 10, 2023
We are delighted to announce the continued funding of the Discovery Scholarship Programme, for Māori...
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.
October 16, 2023
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.
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.
February 9, 2025 - February 13, 2025
November 3, 2023
October 2, 2023
September 1, 2023
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.
Heenan, A. R., Sharma, S. K. & Marshall, A. T. Turning copper into gold — Tuning a gas diffusion electrode catalyst for the efficient conversion of CO2 to C2H4 or CO. Electrochimica Acta 467, art. no. 143097 (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2023.143097
Aoki, M., Yin, Y., Granville, S., Zhang, Y., Medhekar, N. V., Leiva, L., Ohshima, R., Ando, Y. & Shiraishi, M. Gigantic Anisotropy of Self-Induced Spin-Orbit Torque in Weyl Ferromagnet Co2MnGa. Nano Letters (2023). DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.3c01573
Daniels, R. K., Arnold, M. D., Heywood, Z. E., Mallinson, J. B., Bones, P. J. & Brown, S. A. Brainlike Networks of Nanowires and Nanoparticles: A Change of Perspective. Physical Review Applied 20, 034021 (2023). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevApplied.20.034021
Pandian, S. K., Broom, M., Balzan, M. & Willmott, G. R. Influence of rheology and micropatterns on spreading, retraction and fingering of an impacting drop. Soft Matter 19, 6784–6796 (2023). DOI: 10.1039/D3SM00944K
Materials for Energy Capture and Utilisation, Towards Zero Carbon - Catalytic Architectures
A central research theme is exploration of the fundamental relationships between the chemical, physico-chemical, structural, electronic and optical properties of solids and their function.