The Materials Cluster fosters trans-disciplinary research collaborations across the University of Canterbury and with domestic and international researcher partners. Some examples of research projects involving multiple Materials Cluster members are given below. If you are interested in learning more about these projects, lead researcher contact details are given.
Materials Cluster collaboration on antimicrobial titania coatings
NsARC is a photocatalytic titania-carbon composite developed in the Advanced Energy and Materials Laboratory led by Mechanical Engineering Professor Susan Krumdieck. The pulsed pressure metallorganic chemical vapour deposition (pp-MOCVD) method has been used to coat various substrates possessing complex geometries with oxides including ZnO, YSZ, mullite, hydroxyapatite, Al2O3 and TiO2. NsARC is a form of mixed phase titania grown by pp-MOCVD at relatively high temperatures.
Materials Cluster members are part of a large interdisciplinary MBIE project led by Professor Krumdieck to understand the antimicrobial behaviour of this unique material. Characterisation and synthesis were studied in the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences by Dr Matt Polson and Associate Professor Sarah Masters. Microstructural characterisation and growth mechanisms were studied by Associate Professor Catherine Bishop and Professor Krumdieck in Mechanical Engineering. The antimicrobial testing was carried out in the School of Biological Sciences in Professor Jack Heinmann’s group.
The MBIE-funded project “Race to the Finish” obtained MBIE gold star ratings two years in a row, a commendation awarded to less than 7% of projects in each review. Five postgraduate students and a postdoctoral researcher have been funded as part of the project. A Scientific Reports paper on the discovery of NsARC was published in 2019.
For more information contact Professor Susan Krumdieck:
UC and Callaghan Innovation team-up to extract valuable metal from New Zealand Steel bi-product
The interdisciplinary team of Associate Professors Matt Watson, Aaron Marshall and Catherine Bishop has worked with Callaghan Innovation researchers Dr Ian Brown and Dr Yaodong Jia to determine if titanium metal could be electrolytically reduced from the complex mixed-oxide melter slag produced by New Zealand Steel. Watson and Marshall, from Chemical and Process Engineering, and Bishop, from Mechanical Engineering, have trained three postgraduate students and ten honours students as part of the MBIE Smart Ideas project. The three PIs are active members of the Materials Cluster.
Key challenges have been conducting experiments at temperatures in excess of 1400 °C and lack of validated thermochemical data on the complex systems. Thermochemical predictions using FactSage(R) software were validated by high temperature x-ray diffraction measurements undertaken at the Powder Diffraction beamline at the Australian Synchrotron. Further, PhD candidate Samuel Treceno-Martin spent five months at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology conducting fundamental experiments in the unique floating zone furnace in Professor Antoine Allanore’s Group as part of the project. Preliminary findings were presented at the Chemeca 2018 Conference in Queenstown.
For more information contact Associate Professor Matt Watson: