Principal Investigators

Our people

Associate Professor Nicola Gaston

Associate Professor Nicola Gaston

Principal Investigator

Tomorrow's Electronic Devices

Phone:
+64 9 923 4427

Address:
Department of Physics
University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142

Biography

Dr Nicola Gaston is Co-Director of the MacDiarmid Institute and an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at The University of Auckland. Nicola Gaston was a Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at VUW.

She was previously a Principal Research Scientist at IRL, where she was based since returning to New Zealand in 2007 from the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden. She has previously been the leader of Theme 2: Electronic and Optical Materials and a member of the Science Executive.

Research interests

Nicola is interested in understanding the development and variation of physical properties in materials as a function of size, from few atom clusters to large nanoparticles and the bulk.

Her current research is focused on understanding the relationship between electronic structure and properties such as catalytic activity, chemical reactivity, conductivity and thermodynamic stability, and how this relates to the underlying structure (size, shape, composition) of the material. She uses a range of ab initio quantum mechanical techniques to describe electronic structure and the way it depends on the chemical and physical environment.

We often work at the nanoscale – which means that the science solutions can be based on tiny, almost infinitesimal amounts of the world’s natural resources.

Associate Professor Nicola Gaston
Associate Professor Nicola Gaston

In the news

Annual Report

Virtual materials - Annual Report 2018

April 8, 2019

Our researchers use computers to reproduce conditions unachievable in a lab, such as the magnetic forces inside a white dwarf star.

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In The Media

The Spinoff profiles MacDiarmid Principal Investigator Associate Professor Nicola Gaston in her new role as Co-Director

June 28, 2018

Recently appointed co-director of the MacDiarmid Institute Dr Nicola Gaston’s new role allows her to guide one of New Zealand’s top science institutes to potentially world-leading research.

Read more about The Spinoff profiles MacDiarmid Principal Investigator Associate Professor Nicola Gaston in her new role as Co-Director

News Article

Change in leadership sees MacDiarmid Institute head in new direction

May 8, 2018

Announcing the appointment of Associate Professor Nicola Gaston and Associate Professor Justin Hodgkiss as Co-Directors of the Institute.

Read more about Change in leadership sees MacDiarmid Institute head in new direction

Podcasts

Element of the Week - Gallium (Ga)

Element of the Week - Gallium (Ga)

August 12, 2019

MacDiarmid Institute Co-Director and Associate Professor Nicola Gaston introduces the element Gallium on RadioNZ's Night Element of the Week segment.

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Videos

Interface Industry Challenge

February 12, 2019

MacDiarmid Institute investigators discuss how commercialisation of scientific breakthroughs can help New Zealand’s industry and knowledge economy.

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What is materials science

February 12, 2019

MacDiarmid Institute investigators discuss how materials science and nanotechnology can solve the big problems of our time.

Read more about What is materials science