Principal Investigators

Our people

 Associate Professor Natalie Plank

Associate Professor Natalie Plank

Principal Investigator

Towards Low Energy Tech - Hardware for Future Computing

Phone:
+64 4 463 5031

Address:
School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600
Wellington 6140

Biography

Dr Natalie Plank is an Associate Professor in Physics in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington. Natalie completed a BSc (Hons) in Astrophysics at The University of Edinburgh before doing an MSc in Microelectronics. She then completed her PhD on the functionalisation of carbon nanotubes for molecular electronics with Rebecca Cheung also at The University of Edinburgh.

After arriving in New Zealand she has been a Foundation for Science Research and Technology (FRST) postdoctoral fellow and has established the cleanroom fabrication facility at Victoria. Since becoming a MacDiarmid Institute Investigator she has been actively involved in the role of emerging scientists in New Zealand and was the founder and inaugural chair of MESA.

Research interests

Natalie’s research interests are in the area of nanomaterial device fabrication and the characterisation of novel materials. Her current work focuses on nanomaterial device platforms for sensing technology. She is interested in carbon nanotubes and ZnO nanowires for nanowire transistor applications and in particular the ability to functionalise the nanomaterial channels with specific biomarkers.

Natalie’s core interests are in low cost fabrication techniques which allow for high throughput of devices whilst maintaining the particular material properties of the unique nanowire system. This has been particularly important for device fabrication for both carbon nanotubes and ZnO nanowire transistors, where flexible electronics have huge potential.

First we have to tackle the science. And I find that really motivating.

Associate Professor Natalie Plank
 Associate Professor Natalie Plank

In the news

News Article

Potential of Cleantech sector highlighted in report released today

May 22, 2024

A new report launched today has found that this country’s fast-growing Cleantech sector could become a high-value export earner.

Read more about Potential of Cleantech sector highlighted in report released today

Annual Report

New Deputy Directors - Annual Report 2023

April 13, 2024

We have appointed two new Deputy Directors - for Outreach and Education, and for Commercialisation and Industry Engagement.

Read more about New Deputy Directors - Annual Report 2023

Annual Report

Board Chair’s report - Annual Report 2023

April 12, 2024

I continue to be amazed and inspired as I look across the breadth of mahi undertaken by the Institute.

Read more about Board Chair’s report - Annual Report 2023

Annual Report

Co-Directors’ Report - Annual Report 2023

April 12, 2024

2023 was a year full of activity, and we are pleased to share this report on the Institute's progress.

Read more about Co-Directors’ Report - Annual Report 2023

News Article

We welcome two new Deputy Directors

July 3, 2023

We welcome Associate Professors Anna Garden and Natalie Plank as our new Deputy Directors, and bid farewell from our directorship team to Professor Paul Kruger and Associate Professor Geoff Willmott.

Read more about We welcome two new Deputy Directors

Annual Report

MESA is born

April 21, 2023

Principal Investigator Associate Professor Natalie Plank recalls walking into the offices of the Deputy Director and Centre Manager back in 2010 and pitching the idea for a MacDiarmid Institute student-led organisation

Read more about MESA is born

News Article

Taking nano and quantum science education into Rotorua schools

February 24, 2023

FLEET and MacDiarmid Institute teamed up for AMN10 in Rotorua to conduct science outreach workshops for 320 school students.

Read more about Taking nano and quantum science education into Rotorua schools

Annual Report

Funding successes - Annual Report 2021

May 9, 2022

Funding successes for our investigators and their research programmes during 2021. This funding enables our researchers and collaborators to continue their breakthrough research in advanced materials and nanotechnology.

Read more about Funding successes - Annual Report 2021

News Article

Bridging the divide between theoretical and experimental physics

February 22, 2022

Dr Kannan Ridings from Rongowhakaata is one of the MacDiarmid Institute’s newest Associate Investigators.

Read more about Bridging the divide between theoretical and experimental physics

News Article

How does the nose know what it knows?

December 6, 2021

Dr Natalie Plank is leading a team using nanoelectric devices to investigate how olfactory receptors transmit signals to insects about their surroundings.

Read more about How does the nose know what it knows?

News Article

2021 MacDiarmid Institute Marsden grant successes

November 3, 2021

MacDiarmid Institute led research received $6.2 million funding in 2021 Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden, the Marsden Fund.

Read more about 2021 MacDiarmid Institute Marsden grant successes

Annual Report

1.3 Painting semiconductors - Annual Report 2017

May 18, 2018

Imagine a point-of-care electronic blood test that can provide an immediate result in a doctor’s surgery, instead of the current tests that have to be sent away to a lab. The blood test device would plug into a mobile phone to provide a reading, and would be cheap and biofriendly.

Read more about 1.3 Painting semiconductors - Annual Report 2017

News Article

Tell me about your thesis - Leo Browning

June 27, 2017

MacDiarmid Institute PhD student Leo Browning manipulates nano-wires to make neural networks that behave like living neurons.

Read more about Tell me about your thesis - Leo Browning

Podcasts

Element of the Week - Boron (B)

Element of the Week - Boron (B)

November 11, 2019

Principal Investigator Dr Natalie Plank introduces the element Boron on RNZ Nights' Element of the Week.

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Element of the Week - Gold (Au)

Element of the Week - Gold (Au)

August 2, 2019

Principal Investigator Dr Natalie Plank introduces the element Gold on RNZ Nights' Element of the Week.

Read more about Element of the Week - Gold (Au)

Sci/Sci Fact: Magic Wands

Sci Fi/Sci Fact: Magic Wands

March 11, 2022

Principal Investigator Dr Natalie Plank discusses whether magic wands could scientifically exist.

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Videos

Natalie Plank - creating flexible electronics

March 21, 2019

Dr Natalie Plank explains how she is growing nanowires that can be manipulated to create electronic circuits on flexible films.

Read more about Natalie Plank - creating flexible electronics