Research projects

Our current research projects are listed below:

MerinoGold wool products

The use of nanogold as a unique colourfast colourant in high value fashion apparel, textiles and premium carpets. This innovatively links the high value of gold with premium quality New Zealand wool to provide new products for high value international markets. (Prof Jim Johnston, Dr Kerstin Lucas, Andrea Kolb, Thomas Nilsson)

Palladium wool

The use of nanopalladium on wool fibres for green catalysis applications. (Prof Jim Johnston, Dr Carla Fonseca-Paris)

Antimicrobial wool, linen and hemp fabrics

The use of silver and silver compounds to impart antimicrobial activity to these textiles. (Prof Jim Johnston, Dr Fern Kelly, Eldon Tate, Veronika Heuter)

Quantum dot-fibre composites

Use of quantum dots of Cu2O and zinc salts to impart tuneable photoluminescent properties to New Zealand wool and paper fibres. (Prof Jim Johnston, Andi Zeller)

Use of zinc oxide quantum dots to prevent photo yellowing and photo degradation of wool. (Prof Jim Johnston, Dr Kerstin Lucas)

Absorption of transition metal ions and the formation of Cu2O nanoparticles in wool fibres. (Prof Jim Johnston, Ishira Samarasinghe)

Hybrid plastics

The functionalisation of plastics and paint with nanogold and nanosilver and its compounds to impart unique optical, and effective antimicrobial and antifouling properties to them. (Prof Jim Johnston, Maria Podedinsky, Julia Grell)

Photoactive silver/silver chloride hybrid materials.

(Prof Jim Johnston, Eldon Tate)

Barrier coatings

The development of barrier coatings with low water vapour transport rates on paperboard for the effective packaging of moisture sensitive food and other products. (Prof Jim Johnston, Dr Mathew Cairns, Matthias Herzog)

Superhydrophobic and superhydrophilic nanostructured surfaces

The design and chemical fabrication of nanostructured surfaces on fibre and other substrates to provide superhydrophobic and superhydrophilic properties for water repellent and water collection applications. (Prof Jim Johnston, Matthias Herzog)

The development of nanostructured calcium silicate products

And their industrial applications relating to passive heat storage and release, and the scavenging of heavy metals and phosphate from water streams. (Prof Jim Johnston, Dr Thomas Borrmann, Dr Mathew Cairns, Martin Klimsa, Giancarlo Barassi, Andreas Risius)

Enhanced energy recovery from geothermal resources

By alleviating the problem of unwanted silica deposition in pipework, process equipment and reinjection wells. (Prof Jim Johnston, Dr Thomas Borrmann)

The development and use of wet air oxidation

To treat organic waste streams to facilitate the recovery of particular compounds and the safe disposal of the residual stream to surface waterways. (Prof Jim Johnston, Dr Thomas Borrmann)