Mulvaney Group

"The Nanoscience Laboratory is dedicated to the study of the physics and chemistry of nanoscale systems." - Professor Paul Mulvaney


The Nanoscience Laboratory led by Prof. Paul Mulvaney, aims to understand:

  • quantum size effects in semiconductors
  • the behaviour of surface plasmons in nanostructures
  • the optical and electronic properties of nanoscale materials
  • the nucleation of crystals, and
  • the fundamental mechanical scaling laws that determine nanoscale dynamics.

Applications of these materials include new generation solar cells, tunable LEDs, and novel biolabels for MRI, X-ray and fluorescence based bioimaging. The laboratory contributes to the Bio21 vision by providing experience in single (bio) molecule spectroscopy, time-resolved fluorescence, thin film technology and the development of novel materials for bioimaging and biosensing.


Atomic Force Microscopy, confocal microscopy, fluorescence lifetime, single molecule spectroscopy, 4-point probe, solar simulators, ellipsometry, thin film fabrication and colloid and surface science expertise, nanosecond flash photolysis, dark field microscopy.

Group Members

Group Head

Paul Mulvaney


Alexandra Strich

​Postdoctoral Fellows

​Sean Murphy

James Hutchison

Calum Kinnear

​Jean-Philippe Tetienne

Graduate Students

Sarah Jaber

​Nicholas Kirkwood

Cameron Ritchie

Fabio Lisi

Gautam Jain

​Gangcheng Yuan

Heyou Zhang

Jianing Lu

John Li

Krystal Ha

Paul Ionescu

Pawan Dubey

​Robert Ryan

Sean Collins

Tim Mapperson


Paul Mulvaney is currently an ARC Laureate Fellow (2011-2015) and Professor of Chemistry in the School of Chemistry and Bio21 Institute at the University of Melbourne. He is the director for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Excition Science.  He serves as Chair of the Australian Academy of Science National Committee for Chemistry. He received his PhD degree at the University of Melbourne in 1989, working on electron transfer kinetics with Professor Franz Grieser.
His current research work, funded through the ARC Laureate Fellowship program, focuses on plasmonics – the optical properties of metal nanocrystals. The goal of this research is to use spectroscopy to follow the basic steps in catalysis, which are essential to understanding processes such as water splitting and artificial photosynthesis. He is also interested in quantum dot spectroscopy, biolabelling, nanocrystal photovoltaics, QD-LEDs, surface and colloid science, atomic force microscopy for sensing and surface forces and general nanophysics.