Researchers awarded major funding

November 3, 2015
Sam Findlay

A total of more than $1 million has been injected into the labs of ACES/IPRI by The Australian Research Council as part of its 2016 Major Grants Announcement.

Early career researchers Drs Andrew Nattestad, Simone Ciampi and Nadim Darwish were successful in being granted Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards thus:

  • Andrew Nattestad: $370,000 – Intermediate Band Solar Cells Based on Triplet-Triplet Annihilation
  • Simone Ciampi: $359,544 – Electrostatic Catalysis: guiding reactive interfaces using electric fields
  • Nadim Darwish: $348,741 – Single-Molecule Circuitry for Nanoscale Electronic Devices


Dr Ciampi’s work could revolutionise many industrial chemical processes, for example removing pollutants from drinking water or preparing high tech pharmaceutical drugs.


“This research will look at manipulating the precision of these processes by understanding the role of electrical fields on chemical reactions that happens at an interface (solid/liquid). It is expected to start a new area of research in chemical catalysis,” he said.


Dr Nattestad’s research, with an ultimate goal of improving solar cell efficiencies, “seeks to develop a new technology which allows solar cells to harvest a broader range of light from the sun, including red and infrared light, to increase solar-to-electric conversion efficiency.”


Almost $350,000 in funding will be used to “develop novel methods for forming robust single-molecule circuitry in Dr Darwish’s study.


“The use of single molecules in electronics represents the next level of miniaturisation of electronic components, which would enable us to meet the expanding demands of modern technologies and to continue the downscaling trend in electronic devices,” he said.


“This project aims to address the requirements needed to translate single-molecule electronics from its current status as a fundamental tool to real-world applications.”

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