Dr Nathan Kilah
University of Tasmania
The properties of the substances we experience in our daily lives owe much to very weak interactions taking place between molecules. These interactions, though very weak, have large consequences. Dr Kilah’s research makes use of very weak interactions for the construction of materials on a very small scale to engineer them in to chemical building blocks so that they may assemble in bigger structures with their own specialised functions.
The unique aspect of the research is that the weak interactions arise from bromine or iodine, elements normally considered inert for these types of interactions. These larger structures are intended to display unique interactions with polarised light, assist in the detection of pollutants in water, or to assist in the separation of active and inactive forms of pharmaceuticals.
Nathan has organised professional development sessions for secondary school teachers, judged the Royal Australian Chemical Institute’s crystal growing competition, and convened a stall for the RACI at the Festival of Bright Ideas. He organised public lectures for the International Years of Crystallography and Light. He has also been interviewed ABC radio. Currently Nathan is working on a national multimedia project for the RACI’s 100 year anniversary in 2017.