Australia-India leadership fellows

IFM researchers Dr Ludo Dumee and Dr Akhil Gupta will travel to India later this year, with the support of an Australia India Institute Incoming Leaders Fellowship. The fellowship is a four-week residential fellowship for outstanding mid-career Australian researchers. Ludo will work with biotech research groups in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai on the use of membrane materials to remediate bio-contaminants in water supplies. Akhil will work with research groups in the development of organic solar cells as the next generation of photovoltaic devices. Read more

Award for Ross and Adam

Congratulations to Dr Ross Marceau and Dr Adam Taylor who were part of a team (along with IFM visiting fellow, Prof Bevis Hutchinson) to be awarded the 2016 Vanadium Award for their paper Vanadium microalloying for ultra-high strength steel sheet treated by hot-dip metallising). The award, from the Council of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining is given for the most outstanding paper in the metallurgy and technology of vanadium. Read more…

In the news

A paper by A/Prof Rimma Lapovok and colleagues has featured on the Advanced Science News website. In the paper in Advanced Engineering Materials, Rimma and her colleagues propose a technique by which a gradient structure inspired by bone design can be imparted to metallic tubes. Read more…


IFM student Arun Ambujakshan has also had a paper from his PhD work highlighted on Advanced Science News. In the journal Plasma Processes and Polymers, Arun and colleagues investigate the superior performance of plasma treated water as an anodizing electrolyte for producing nanoporous titanium dioxide nanotubes. Read more…


New publications

Prof Tifffany Walsh has a paper published in Chemical Reviews as part of a special issue on ‘Bioinspired and Biomimetic Materials’. The paper on ‘Biointerface Structural Effects on the Properties and Applications of Bioinspired Peptide-Based Nanomaterials’ was co-authored with A/Prof Marc Knecht of the University of Miami. This is the first paper for Deakin in the high-impact journal (IF=48). Read more…

Wound powder to go global

Dr Rangam Rajkhowa has received a $50,000 grant from the Global Connections Fund to develop a natural advanced wound care powder. Working with an industry partner in India, the project will use powdering technology developed at Deakin to produce an affordable wound and skin-care powder. The product will be used for chronic wounds such as skin ulcers and acute burn wounds. An article about the grant was featured in the Geelong News.

Women in Energy Research

The Australian-Indian Workshop for Women in Energy Research will be held Monday 6 November at Deakin University, Burwood Campus.

The main purpose of the workshop is to bring together future female leaders in energy research to discuss the science, opportunities and challenges. It will provide an opportunity to gather Indian and Australian researchers to network and form future collaborations. For more information, please contact:

Student completions

Congratulations to the following students who have completed the requirements of their PhD degrees:

Xinchu Zhao Gold nanoparticles based DNA detection in microfluidics

Marinus van der Sluijs Improving the quality of Australian cotton during processing

Murugesan Annasamy Static and dynamic recrystallization behaviour of high entropy alloys

Linpeng Fan Engineering of silk fibroin: from nanofibers to nanofibrous scaffolds for biomedical application

Ninghui Han A new angle on the coalescence of drops.

Francois-Marie Allioux Hybrid ion-exchange membrane-electrode for advanced catalysis and desalination processes

Danah Al-Masri The design and use of redox active ionic electrolytes for thermal energy harvesting

Andreas Kupke Effect of the microstructure on the unloading characteristics of DP steel


New staff

Welcome to Mr John Herron, who has joined IFM as Operations Manager for Carbon Nexus.

John started his career at Mount Isa Mines working on a new lead smelting pilot plant based on CSIRO technology. He then studied briefly at Cambridge University (UK) before joining BTR Automotive in Albury supervising their metallurgical laboratory. He then moved to Ford and completed a Masters of Engineering at the ANU (supervised by Peter Hodgson in the Deakin/ANU/Ford/STAMP program), becoming the stamping production supervisor at the Geelong stamping plant. He moved to Alcoa’s ingot mill and then their rolling mill here in Geelong before spending time in Saudi Arabia at an Alcoa joint venture greenfield site.

John brings a great deal of experience in operations management, operations finances, quality control, behaviour-based safety, Six Sigma process improvement and 5S.

Carbon Nexus wins Geelong business award

The Carbon Nexus team has added another award to its collection, taking out the 2017 Powercor Geelong Business Excellence Awards Innovation, Research and Development category.

The award, which recognises leadership through the practical application of innovative solutions, research and successful development, is an acknowledgment of Carbon Nexus’s significant work in industrial-scale carbon fibre research and support for the growth of new carbon fibre based high-tech firms in Australia.

“As a provider of high-tech research services to the advanced manufacturing sector here in Australia and overseas, the team at Carbon Nexus is focused on exceeding the expectations of a diverse range of clients,” said Carbon Nexus Director Derek Buckmaster.

“Our aim is to continue delivering the highest quality research and development services to a growing range of clients – and to encourage them invest in local talent and capacity, growing the economy in Geelong and the surrounding region,” he said.

Team titanium wins battle of the metals

The metals group social badminton tournament concluded recently after a hard fought six-week competition.

The winning team – Titanium – Guillaume Bruel, Aditya Deole, Andreas Kupke and Mohan Setty. Prof Xungai Wang presented medals to the winners.

Four teams (Steel, Titanium, Aluminium and Magnesium) participated in the tournament held at Barwon Valley Activity Centre (BVAC) over six weeks. Titanium were victors in the final with team Steel on 22 August.

The badminton courts on campus have been booked for 14, 21 and 28 Sep., K D Stewart Centre, Waurn Ponds Campus, 5:30-6:30pm

Organiser, Mohan Setty says that depending on the level of interest, an IFM tournament will be organised for later this month. Anyone interested should contact Mohan, no previous experience is required!

New publications

Dr Akhil Gupta and A/Prof Jingliang Li have some new publications about their work on novel materials.

Non-fullerene acceptors based on central naphthalene diimide flanked by rhodanine or 1,3-indanedione

Chem. Commun., 2017, 53, 7080-7083

This research summarizes our recent efforts to design and develop novel organic materials as efficient non-fullerene acceptors for solution-processable organic solar cells. We used a combination of central naphthalene diimide and terminal rhodanine or 1,3-indanedione functionalities to generate a class of new materials, N3 and N4, which were synthesized and characterized. Both of the materials exhibited good solubility, thermal stability, and displayed energy levels matching those of the conventional and routinely used donor polymer poly(3-hexyl thiophene) (P3HT). A high power conversion efficiency of 4.76% was obtained in simple, solution-processable bulk-heterojunction devices (P3HT: N3 1: 1.2) which is the best result for central NDI-based small molecular non-fullerene acceptors.

Donor-acceptor-acceptor-based non-fullerene acceptors comprising terminal chromen-2-one functionality for efficient bulk-heterojunction devices

Dyes Pigm., 2017, 146, 502-511

Through this work, we reported the design and development of two novel semiconducting materials that were based on the donor–acceptor–acceptor (D–A1–A) format. The newly developed materials, P2 and P3, were used as non-fullerene electron acceptors in solution-processable bulk-heterojunction devices. The optoelectronic and photovoltaic properties of P2 and P3 were directly compared with those of a structural analogue, P1, which was designed based on a D–A format. Solution-processable bulk-heterojunction devices were fabricated with P1, P2 and P3 as non-fullerene electron acceptors. Studies on the photovoltaic properties revealed that the best P3HT: P3-based device showed an impressive enhanced power conversion efficiency of 4.21%, an increase of around two-fold with respect to the efficiency of the best P3HT: P1-based device (2.28%). Our results clearly demonstrate that the D–A1–A type small molecules are promising non-fullerene electron acceptors in the research field of organic solar cells.

Title: Supramolecular chemistry of AIE-active tetraphenylethylene luminophores

Nanoscience, 2017, 4, 75-107

Summary: This book chapter provides recent progress in the development of chemistry of aggregation-induced emission (AIE)-active tetraphenylethylene luminophores, their synthetic strategies, and their applications in the research fields of optoelectronics, sensing and supramolecular science comprehensively. It begins with a discussion on a collection of synthetic structural motifs. We will also explore novel derivatives, structures, electronic and spectroscopic properties of the TPE luminophores. The practical applications include certain topics in medicinal, sensing, optoelectronic devices and supramolecular architectures. We have illustrated advances in tetraphenylethylene research in the mechanoluminescent materials followed by exploring recent development of functionalization/decoration of AIE-active tetraphenylethylene luminogens onto an aggregation-caused quenching (ACQ) fluorophores, such as PDI, NDI and porphyrins, converting the whole chromophore into AIE luminogens with possible applications.




Smart and Intelligent – news from textiles conference

About 100 people from industry and academia attended the recent ‘Smart and Intelligent Textiles Conference’, organised by the Technical Textiles and Nonwoven Association (TTNA) and sponsored by the ARC Research Hub for Future Fibres, at IFM. Delegates from industry and academia came together to listen to five speakers discussing current and future trends in smart textiles.

Dr Dieter Veit (RWTH Aachen University) introducing electronic textiles.

Keynote speaker Dr Ing. Dieter Veit, Head of Department for Technical Textiles at RWTH Aachen University in Germany gave a fascinating insight into the reasons why electronic textiles have not yet captured the market share they were predicted to several years ago. He gave several examples of successful products including translucent concrete (Lucem), and fabrics which generate 3D effects from LED lights (Ettlin Lux), and discussed the factors which led to these products being successfully commercialised.

Ben Flavel, Innovation Manager at Geofabrics Australasia, provided an industry perspective. Ben discussed the transition towards incorporating smart textiles into civil infrastructure through a case study about developing and trialling graphene-coated geotextiles to detect potential leaks in a water storage before filling.

A/Prof Joe Razal presented the work his team at IFM are doing on multifunctional fibres, with much interest shown in the graphene-containing conductive fibres being produced on the wet spinning line. Joe discussed the advantages these conductive fibres can have if integrated or embedded within a fabric through weaving or knitting.

Professor Julie Steele, Director of the Biomechanics Research Laboratory at the University of Wollongong highlighted the importance of considering biomechanics when designing smart textiles using a case study about the development of a ‘Smart Bra’ which will automatically adjust to the wearer and her level of activity to optimise comfort and support.

The day concluded with networking over drinks and canapes while imagining a future filled with smart bras, luminous buildings and textiles that are smarter than us!