Dr Natalie Plank is a Lecturer in Physics in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington. She is also a Principal Investigator of the MacDiarmid Institute.

Natalie completed a BSc (Hons) in Astrophysics at The University of Edinburgh before doing an MSc in Microelectronics.   She then completed her PhD on the functionalisation of carbon nanotubes for molecular electronics with Rebecca Cheung also at The University of Edinburgh. Natalie then spent three years at the Cambridge Nanoscience Centre working with Professor Sir Mark Welland on solid state dye sensitized solar cells.

Group members

PhD students

Leo Browning

Leo Browning is working towards the production of nanowire based neural networks and methods for their application in sensor and logic devices. His project will also include investigation into the methods of network integration and tuning.

2015-present: PhD candidate and holder of a MacDiarmid Institute PhD Scholarship

2014: BSc(Hons) in Physics at Victoria University of Wellington

2013: BSc in Physics and Mathematics at Victoria University of Wellington

Mohsen Maddah

Mohsen Maddah's project focuses on the fabrication of nanomaterial electrodes for electrical integration with neurons. The project also includes investigation on an inorganic semiconducting nanowires that can improve the electrical characteristics of the existing neural devices. This work is in collaboration with Assoc Prof Charles Unsworth at the University of Auckland.

2016-present: PhD candidate and holder of a Marsden Fund Scholarship

2015: BE(hons) in Electronics and Computer Systems at Victoria University of Wellington

Selvan Murugathas

Murugathas Thanihaichelvan (Selvan) is working towards the fabrication and optimization of CNT and graphene FETs for receptor based biosensors. The project includes fundamental investigation on the gating in random channel CNT FETs and their advantageous towards sensor applications. This work is in collaboration with Dr. Colm Carraher and Dr. Andrew V Kralicek at Plant and food research, New Zealand

2016-present: PhD candidate and holder of a Marsden PhD Scholarship

2010: MSc in Mobile Communication engineering at University of East London, UK

2008: BE(hons) in Electronics and communication at Anna University, Chennai, India

Jenna Nguyen

Hong-Phan T. Nguyen (Jenna) is working towards biosensing using CNT FET and neuromorphic devices. Her project will also include the synthesis, fabrication and electrical characterisation of nanowire that can employ with DNA aptamer recognition elements for electronic biosensors.

2018 – Present: PhD candidate and holder of a MacDiarmid Institute PhD Scholarship.

2014: MSc in Biomedical Engineering at National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan

2011: BE in Computing Engineering at HCMC University of Technology and Education, Vietnam

Erica Happe is working towards the fabrication of CNT FETs for use as biosensors.  She will be using conductive atomic force microscopy to characterize conduction in the network and to understand network sensitivity.  This work is in collaboration with Dr. Colleen Marlow at California Polytechnic State University, USA.

2018 – Present: PhD candidate and holder of a MacDiarmid Institute PhD Scholarship.

2014– 2018: BS in Physics at California Polytechnic State University

Erica Cassie is working towards multiplexing the carbon nanotube FET biosensors developed by the group, so that thye may be used to measure multiple different target biomolecules. This work will focus on the microfabrication techniques needed to manufacture such devices.

2019-Present: PhD candidate and holder of a Marsden Fund Scholarship

2018: BE(Hons)/BSc conjoint in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Physics at the University of Auckland


PhD students

2017: Conor Burke-Govey

2015: Hanyue (Hannah) Zheng

Masters students

2018: Campbell Matthews

2015: Cameron Wood

Honours students

2016: Charlotte Duda

2016: Campbell Matthews

2015: Ryan Moody

2014: Leo Browning

2013: Stanley Roache

2012: Harpreet Singh

Visiting Interns

2017: Teerapong (Max) Jantarat

2015: Alexandre Nau - Université de Bordeaux (France)

2013: Ron Hendriks - The University of Twente (The Netherlands)

Summer students

2017/2018: Kira Pitman

2014/2015: Charlotte Duda

2013/2014: Hamish Colenso

2012/2013: Benjamin Dunn

2011/2012: Cameron Wood