Alison Downard

ProfessorAlison Downard

Director of Undergraduate Studies
West 832
Internal Phone: 94228

Qualifications & Memberships

Research Interests

Our major research focus combines electrochemistry and surface chemistry. We specialise in preparation of nanoscale organic layers on conducting materials, frequently through electrografting procedures. Our work has contributed to the basic understanding of how the layers form, their structure and their attachment to the substrate. Our expertise includes developing methods for patterning these layers and for preparing layers incorporating more than one chemical species in controlled amounts. Through on-surface chemistry on reactive layers, a wide variety of functional interfaces can be prepared. Recently we have expanded our research in two areas: preparing high-performing catalytic electrodes by tailoring immobilised molecular catalysts, and using nanoscale layers to control the surface electronic and chemical properties of transparent conducting oxides.

Recent Publications

  • Altenhuber N., Soffe R., Downard A. and Nock VM. (2019) Diabetes Management: Developing a Point-of-Care Insulin Sensor. Wellington, New Zealand: 9th International Conference on Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (AMN9), 10 Feb 2019.
  • Lynam MF., Ke NJ., Bradley SJ., Nann T., Neiman A., Reeves RJ., Downard AJ., Golovko VB. and Allen MW. (2019) Size-controlled, high optical quality ZnO nanowires grown using colloidal Au nanoparticles and ultra-small cluster catalysts. APL Materials 7(2) http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.5054355.
  • Schuurman JC., McNeill AR., Martinez-Gazoni RF., Scott JI., Reeves RJ., Allen MW. and Downard AJ. (2019) The effect of covalently bonded aryl layers on the band bending and electron density of SnO2 surfaces probed by synchrotron X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.. Phys Chem Chem Phys http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c9cp03040a.
  • Downard AJ., Farquhar AK. and Brooksby PA. (2018) Measuring the Capacitance at Few- and Many-Layered Graphene Electrodes in Aqueous Acidic Solutions. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 122(11): 6103-6108. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b12493.
  • Farquhar AK., Brooksby PA. and Downard AJ. (2018) Controlled Spacing of Few-Layer Graphene Sheets Using Molecular Spacers: Capacitance That Scales with Sheet Number. ACS Applied Nano Materials 1(3): 1420-1429. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsanm.8b00280.