ARC Nanotechnology Network
Centre for Strategic Nano-fabrication

Centre for Strategic Nano-fabrication

Name of Group Leader:

Professor Colin Raston  

Physical Address:

The University of Western Australia
Centre for Strategic Nano-fabrication
35 Stirling Highway


+61 (08) 6488 3045  


+61 (08) 6488 8683  


Nanotechnology Research Programs/Activities:

Lead Researchers: C. L. Raston, Iyer Swaminatha and Mohamed Makha

Synthesis of nano-particles and nano-hybrids using spinning disc processing technology. SDP new technology can also be used to prepare mono-dispersed nano-particles in a controlled way as a continuous flow process. No other technique has the same capability, and no other technique has the ability to incorporate green chemistry metrics into the technology. This is important for downstream nanotechnology applications and products getting into the marketplace. SDP technology allows more efficient processes, minimising energy usage and simplifies scale up requirements indeed the research reactor can be the production reactor. The project will focus on the synthesis and characterization of nano-particles of metals and inorganic materials for application as supermagnetic material and in medical contrasting technology. Projects on other nano-particles include: (i) Light harvesting nano-particles. (ii) Generation of polymer (natural & synthetic) particles of uniform size distribution. (iii) Nano-particles of fullerenes. (iv) Food colouring technology.

Lead Researcher: Tim St Pierre

Superparamagnetic nano-particles in magnetic resonance, contrast enhancement, tissue repair, detoxification of biological fluids, and drug delivery. Drug delivery combining biophotonics for precise target therapy and early detection of diseases. Tissue fabrication and artificial bio-compatible material. Laser activated bioadhesives combined with surgical photonic procedures and drug delivery.

Nano-toxicology, environmental impact
Lead Researchers: Lee Yong Lim and Mohamed Makka

Testing nano-particles in other research programs for effects on healthy cells in culture as an initial screen protocol for toxicity. Developing new screens for specific nano-particles. Life cycle assessment of nano-particles. Environmental monitoring of nano-particles. Sustainability metrics. Environmental and atmospheric chemistry, environmental monitoring and analysis, Tropospheric chemistry explicit reaction mechanism development, including the development of ultrafine aerosol particles. Computer modeling of tropospheric chemistry and atmospheric chamber experiments. Air pollution and human health impacts.

Lead Researcher: John Watling

New technology for tagging pearls for the WA pearling industry, encoding of indigenous and other artworks, plastics, banknotes, paints and ceramics, and aspects of nano-toxicology.

Nano-characterisation and smart materials
Lead Researchers: Brendan Griffin and Martin Saunders.

Nano-catalysis for the fine chemical industry. Nano-materials for light harvesting devices and fuel cell technology. Nano-catalysts for templating new nano-structures. Food and cosmetic formulations for increasing the bioavailability of the products. Anti-fouling nano-particles for the pearling industry. Theoretical determining/predicting the properties of nano-particles.

New generation SDP technology
Lead Researcher: Hui Tong Chua

Incorporating high temperature flash-heating and high pressure, UV and microwave capabilities.

Scale of Nanotechnology Research Effort:

22 Lead Chief Investigators
10 Postgraduate Students
Annual budget in excess of $3M  

Nanotechnology research facilities:

Rotating Surfaces Technology - SDP is new technology which comes under the umbrella of process intensification where all components/molecules are subject to the same conditions in a continuous flow process. This allows more efficient processes, minimising energy usage and simplifies scale up requirements indeed the research reactor can be the production reactor.  



Collaboration Information


Group Websites: