Principal Investigators

Our people

Professor Sally Brooker

Professor Sally Brooker

Principal Investigator

Functional Nanostructures

Phone:
+64 3 479 7919

Address:
Department of Chemistry
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054

Biography

Sally did her PhD with Dr Vickie McKee at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand (Vickie is now a Professor at Loughborough University), then a postdoc with Professor George Sheldrick (of SHELX fame) at Göttingen University in Germany. She then returned to NZ to take up a lectureship at the University of Otago, the first position she applied for, where she is now a full professor.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Society of New Zealand and New Zealand Institute of Chemistry. Recent awards include the 2011 Royal Society of Chemistry Australasian Lectureship, the 2009 NZIC Maurice Wilkins Centre Prize for Excellence in Chemical Research and the 2008 Francis Lions Memorial Lectureship at Sydney University. She loves supervising her large, multinational, highly productive and high impact research team (over 160 papers to date, h = 34 Web of Science, PhD 1989), Brookers Bunch.

She and her research group have prepared and characterised some key dinuclear spin crossover systems, including the first dicobalt complex to undergo simultaneous magnetic exchange and spin crossover, and the first structurally characterised dimetallic complex in which one metal ion is high spin whilst the other is low spin. More recently they have reported, in collaboration with Professor Jeff Tallon (RRI), the first triply switchable cobalt complex.

In collaboration with Professor Annie Powell (Karlsruhe) and Dr Rodolphe Clerac (Bordeaux), larger clusters of metal ions are also being targeted and magnetically characterised, consistent with another aim, the preparation of soluble single molecule/chain magnets (SMMs/SCMs). They recently reported the first SMMs to be designed and made in NZ.

They are also taking steps towards immobilising switchable complexes on solid supports.

Research interests

We have prepared and characterised some key dinuclear spin crossover systems, including the first dicobalt complex to undergo simultaneous magnetic exchange and spin crossover, and the first structurally characterised dimetallic complex in which one metal ion is high spin whilst the other is low spin.

We have developed access to a range of key families of related ligands so our current focus is on preparing iron and cobalt complexes of these ligands in order to test and extend our understanding of such complexes and their SCO behaviour.

In collaboration with Professor Annie Powell (Karlsruhe), larger clusters of metal ions are also being targeted, consistent with another of our aims, the preparation of soluble single molecule magnets (SMMs). We have recently reported the first SMMs to be designed and made in NZ. Most recently we have reported the first triply switchable cobalt complex.

If we get it right, industry will certainly stand up and take notice.

Professor Sally Brooker
Professor Sally Brooker

In the news

Annual Report

Connecting with researchers at UCLA - Annual Report 2018

April 8, 2019

The discovery of conducting polymers – plastics that conduct electricity – won New Zealander Alan MacDiarmid the Nobel Prize in 2000.

Read more about Connecting with researchers at UCLA - Annual Report 2018

Annual Report

2018 funding successes - Annual Report 2018

April 8, 2019

Funding successes for our investigators and their research programmes during 2018. This funding enables our researchers and collaborators to continue their breakthrough research in advanced materials and nanotechnology.

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Annual Report

Journal covers - Annual Report 2018

April 8, 2019

This page lists the various scientific journal covers that featured MacDiarmid Institute Investigators work in 2018.

Read more about Journal covers - Annual Report 2018

News Article

MacDiarmid researchers celebrate 40 years of Germany/NZ science co-operation with German President Steinmeier

January 25, 2018

Professor Sally Brooker and Dr Renee Goreham celebrate science collaborations with German President Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender.

Read more about MacDiarmid researchers celebrate 40 years of Germany/NZ science co-operation with German President Steinmeier

Interface Magazine

Nick White: Inspiring alumnus

July 10, 2015

MacDiarmid Institute alumnus, Dr Nick White was born in the UK, but grew up in New Zealand and completed his BSc (Hons) at the University of Otago, and PhD at the University of Oxford. He sat down with Kate Hannah to discuss his science, and what has inspired him throughout his remarkable career trajectory.

Read more about Nick White: Inspiring alumnus

Interface Magazine

Matthew Cowan: Silver ions to the rescue!

July 10, 2015

We’re often told that obliging industry to significantly reduce energy consumption and energy-related emissions would be bad for business and the economy. There may be some truth in that, but it also seems apparent that if there was the political and economic will, there would be the scientific ways.

Read more about Matthew Cowan: Silver ions to the rescue!

Videos

Sally Brooker - environmentally-friendly plastics

March 21, 2019

Professor Sally Brooker is using metal catalysts to develop cheap, envoronmentally-friendly plastics for use in a host of applications.

Read more about Sally Brooker - environmentally-friendly plastics