Matthew Cowan

LecturerMatthew Cowan

Link Rm 409
Internal Phone: 92521
Join me in understanding the world's problems and building the solutions to solve them

Research Interests

Kia Ora! Welcome, it's great to have you here.

I have a keen interest in leading advances that will significantly impact society through the creation of commercializable knowledge and technology, and the scientific community in particular through improving fundamental understanding and best practices. This means I actively communicate and engage with the perceived users of any technology I develop so that I can create something they think is useful (rather than what I think would be useful).

I am always looking for new research opportunities and people to work with, so if you think that I can help or would like to join my team then please reach out. I'll do my best to understand your problem and if I can't propose a solution, then I'll try my best to direct you to someone who can.

My background includes both chemistry and chemical engineering and has involved work on materials including polymers, ionic liquids, liquid crystals, metal-ion complexes, and ceramic membranes for applications in gas separations through membranes and adsorbents and molecular switching for electronics.

Presently (2017) my focus is on the separation the gases used for making plastics. Current industrial practice is to use a system of cryogenic distillation that accounts for 0.3% of global energy use (more than the energy used by New Zealand!). My research is attempting to develop a solution that meets the criteria of long-term reliability, and reduced capital and operating costs.

Recent Publications

  • Feltham HLC., Cowan MG., Kitchen JA., Jameson GNL. and Brooker S. (2018) Targeted structural modification of spin crossover complexes: pyridine vs pyrazine. Supramolecular Chemistry 30(4): 296-304. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10610278.2017.1358449.
  • Lopez AM., Cowan MG., Gin DL. and Noble RD. (2018) Phosphonium-Based Poly(ionic liquid)/Ionic Liquid Ion Gel Membranes: Influence of Structure and Ionic Liquid Loading on Ion Conductivity and Light Gas Separation Performance. Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data 63(5): 1154-1162. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jced.7b00541.
  • Singh ZV., Tan L-L., Cowan MG., Yang Y-W., Zhang W., Gin DL. and Noble RD. (2017) Pillar [5]arene/Matrimid™ materials for high-performance methane purification membranes. Journal of Membrane Science 539: 224-228. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.memsci.2017.05.078.
  • Cowan MG., Gin DL. and Noble RD. (2016) Poly(ionic liquid)/Ionic Liquid Ion-Gels with High "free" Ionic Liquid Content: Platform Membrane Materials for CO2/Light Gas Separations. Accounts of Chemical Research 49(4): 724-732. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.accounts.5b00547.
  • Cowan MG., McDanel WM., Singh ZV., Carlisle TK., Gin DL. and Noble RD. (2016) Poly(ionic liquid)/ionic liquid ion-gel membranes for CO2/light-gas separations. In 26th Annual Meeting of the North American Membrane Society, NAMS 2016: 103.