Dr George Vamvounis, a senior COPE postdoctoral research fellow, has been awarded a prestigious five year ARC Australian Research Fellowship. George's research interests lie in the field of novel materials for organic electronics, which can be used in place of the rigid silicon based electronics for next generation technologies such as rollable display screens and disposable radio frequency identification cards.
Prof Ross McKenzie, an ARC Professorial Fellow and a senior member of COPE, obtained funding from the ARC to conduct research for optimising information storage. With the rapid expansion of information and entertainment technology, new materials and devices are required for information storage. State of the art computer and iPod memories utilise advanced materials composed of layers of atoms, recognised by the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics. These materials have metallic properties unlike those of simple metals such as copper and brass. This research will lead to a greater understanding of and ability to design the next generation of materials. Australia's capacity for research and development in this scientifically challenging and technologically important field will be enhanced by this project.
Dr Ben Powell and Dr Lawrence (Shih-Chun) Lo, two academic members of COPE, won an ARC discovery grant which will enable them to conduct research into the way electrons behave in new materials. Materials have driven the digital revolution. Understanding and controlling silicon has allowed us to make smaller devices that perform better; an iPhone has more computing power than a PC had ten years ago. For this remarkable trend to continue, future devices will need to utilise novel physics and be made from new materials. Crystals of organic molecules will be grown in COPE laboratories. The research aims to answer fundamental questions by conducting state of the art 'neutron scattering' experiments to test theories of the way the electrons behave in these new materials, which is an important first step towards harnessing such effects for future technology.