Projects

Our project outcomes build staff capacity, improve our programs and contribute to best practice teaching methods in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and health disciplines.

In collaboration with industry partners, CAMIC has multiple projects involved in the development and testing of high quality gas sensors to detect toxic metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Developing various types of sensor devices for different applications is one of the main strengths of Nanotechnology and Sensing group in CAMIC. The group collaborates with many industrial partners and academic researchers around the world.

Typical sensors developed and tested in the group include quartz crystal microbalance, resistive and surface acoustic wave to detect toxic metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

An example of the former is the development of mercury vapour sensors (with PCT patent) which have received much media attention. The VOC sensors developed are targeted for medical industries where the sensors can potentially be used to undergo non-invasive sampling (human breath) to diagnose diabetics from healthy patients by monitoring their breath acetone concentration.

Team leader: Distinguished Professor Suresh Bhargava
Key people: Dr Ylias Sabri, Dr Ahmad Kandjani, Dr Samuel Ippolito
Current Higher Degree by Research students: Mr Bebeto Lay, Ms Shravanti Joshi, Mr Sulthan Rashid
PhD positions available: Contact Dr Ylias Sabri for possible candidature/collaboration opportunities.

Selected publications

This project aims to develop selective sorbents to remove mercury from natural gas at low temperatures.

This project looks at the removal of mercury from natural gas at low temperatures (room temperature) and is in collaboration with CSIRO. Therefore nanomaterials that are selective mercury sorbents are being developed and tested in simulated industrial conditions. 

A second part of the project looks at developing catalysts that can oxidize elemental mercury to its water soluble ionic form. This will help facilitate the removal of mercury from coal-fired-power-plants where the pre-installed scrubbers will easily remove the toxin while SOx and NOx are being removed from the effluents stream.

Team leaderDistinguished Professor Suresh Bhargava

Key people: Dr Ylias Sabri, Dr Jampaiah Deshetti, Dr Anastasios Chalkidis

PhD positions available: Interested students and researchers should contact Dr Ylias Sabri for possible candidature/collaboration.

Selected publications

  • D.Jampaiah; S.J. Ippolito; Y.M. Sabri; B.M. Reddy; S.K. Bhargava; Highly efficient nanosized Mn and Fe codoped ceria-based solid solutions for elemental mercury removal at low flue gas temperatures; Catalysis Science & Technology; 2015, 5, 2913-2924. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2015/cy/c5cy00231a 
  • D. Jampaiah; S.J. Ippolito; Y.M. Sabri; J. Tardio; P.R. Selvakannan; A. Nafady; B.M. Reddy; S.K. Bhargava ; Ceria–zirconia modified MnOx catalysts for gaseous elemental mercury oxidation and adsorption; Catalysis Science & Technology; 2016, 6, 1792-1803. http://pubs.rsc.org/-/content/articlehtml/2016/cy/c5cy01534k 
  • D. Jampaiah; K.M. Tur; S.J. Ippolito; Y.M. Sabri; J. Tardio; S.K. Bhargava; B.M. Reddy; Structural characterization and catalytic evaluation of transition and rare earth metal doped ceria-based solid solutions for elemental mercury oxidation; RSC Advances 3 (31), 12963-12974. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2013/ra/c3ra41441h

Surface patterning includes techniques for preparing and patterning surfaces, from the arrangement of single molecules to the macro-scale.

Surface patterning includes techniques for preparing and patterning surfaces, from the arrangement of single molecules to the macro-scale, for example, through etching, electrochemical patterning and film deposition.

The Nanotechnology and Sensing group in CAMIC has many projects focusing on developing various types of surface patterns for different applications, ranging from sensitive layers for chemical sensing to photoactive materials for energy harvesting. 

Team leader: Distinguished Professor Suresh Bhargava

Key people: Dr Ahmad KandjaniDr Ylias Sabri

Current Higher Degree by Research students: Mr Bebeto Lay

PhD positions available: Interested? Contact Dr Ahmad Kandjani for possible candidature/collaboration opportunities.

Selected publications

  • A.E. Kandjani; Y.M. Sabri; M.R. Field; V.E. Coyle; R. Smith; S.K. Bhargava; Candle-Soot Derived Photoactive and Superamphiphobic Fractal Titania Electrode; Chemistry of Materials 28 (21), 7919-7927. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.chemmater.6b03537 
  • Y.M. Sabri; A.E. Kandjani; S.J. Ippolito; S.K. Bhargava; Nanosphere monolayer on a transducer for enhanced detection of gaseous heavy metal; ACS applied materials & interfaces 7 (3), 1491-1499. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/am507069z 
  • Y.M. Sabri; A.E. Kandjani; S.J. Ippolito; S.K. Bhargava; Ordered monolayer gold nano-urchin structures and their size induced control for high gas sensing performance; Scientific Reports 6, 24625. http://www.nature.com/articles/srep24625

This project involves the development of a wide variety of catalysts for the CO2 dry reforming of methane.

Catalytic reforming of methane with carbon dioxide, also known as dry reforming (CH4(g) + CO2(g) ↔  2CO(g) + 2H2(g)), is a promising process for simultaneous chemical transformation of two major greenhouse gases, CO2 and CH4, to syngas.

Syngas can be used in a variety of downstream processes such as methanol production, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis processes and carbonylation, hydrogenation, and hydroformylation processes.

In this context, a wide variety of catalysts which have been synthesized by various methods has been developed and extensively investigated for the CO2 Dry Reforming of Methane (DRM) in the CAMIC laboratories.

The efficiency of prepared catalysts has been studied for DRM reaction using a fixed-bed quartz reactor at atmospheric pressure.

The materials have been characterized by BET surface area, crystalline phases, surface element composition, EDS mapping and texture Spent catalysts were characterized by XRD, TEM, Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) and FT-Raman. 

Team leader: Distinguished Professor Suresh Bhargava

Key people: Dr Selvakannan  PeriasamyDr James Tardio

PhD positions available: Contact Dr Selvakannan  Periasamy for possible candidature/collaboration opportunities 

Selected publications

Our group performs a comparative study in the partitioning behaviour of mercury during the regeneration process of laboratory grade MEG and industrial MEG provided by a natural gas processing plant.

Mercury and its compounds are present in many gas fields worldwide, with levels ranging from 5 × 10−6 to 4.4 g/m3 in some gas fields.

Even trace amounts of mercury can contaminate precious metal catalysts downstream and accumulate in equipment, having adverse effects on the processing of natural gas streams (e.g., liquid-metal embrittlement (LME) of aluminum heat exchangers).

Furthermore, mercury is well-known to be toxic to both humans and the environment. Hence there is significant interest in understanding the chemistry of mercury in natural gas transportation and refinery processes in order to take appropriate mitigation steps.

Our group investigates  the partitioning behaviour of mercury during the regeneration process of laboratory grade Monoethylene Glycol (MEG) and the actual industrial MEG provided by a natural gas processing plant.

A comparison of the types of MEG provides an insight into how the Industrial-MEG constituents (salts, organics, etc.) effect mercury partition during MEG regeneration processes.

Team leader: Distinguished Professor Suresh Bhargava

Key people: Dr Ylias Sabri

PhD positions available: Interested? Contact Dr Ylias Sabri candidature/collaboration opportunities.

Selected publications

This project looks at the development of a plethora of nanostructures with multifunctional properties for chemical sensing in both gas and liquid environments.

This project looks at the development of a plethora of nanostructures with multifunctional properties for chemical sensing in both gas and liquid environments.

An example is the first time development of a SERS-active ZnO/Ag nanoarrays system that can detect heavy metals, remove heavy metals and can be fully regenerated to perform multiple sensing events.

Team leader: Distinguished Professor Suresh Bhargava

Key people: Dr Ahmad KandjaniDr Ylias Sabri

Current Higher Degree by Research students: Mrs Victoria E. Coyle

PhD positions available: Interested students and researchers should contact Dr Ahmad Kandjani for possible candidature/collaboration.

Selected publications

  • A.E. Kandjani; Y.M. Sabri; M. Mohammad-Taheri; V. Bansal; S.K. Bhargava; Detect, remove and reuse: a new paradigm in sensing and removal of Hg (II) from wastewater via SERS-active ZnO/Ag nanoarrays; Environmental science & technology 49 (3), 1578-1584. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es503527e 
  • A.E. Kandjani; M. Mohammad-Taheri; A. Thakkar; S.K. Bhargava; V. Bansal; Zinc oxide/silver nanoarrays as reusable SERS substrates with controllable ‘hot-spots’ for highly reproducible molecular sensing; Journal of colloid and interface science 436, 251-257. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021979714006663 
  • A.E. Kandjani, Y.M. Sabri, S.R. Periasamy, N. Zohora, M.H. Amin, A. Nafady, S.K. Bhargava; Controlling Core/Shell Formation of Nanocubic p-Cu2O/n-ZnO Toward Enhanced Photocatalytic Performance; Langmuir, 2015, 31 (39), 10922–10930. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.langmuir.5b01019

Using electrochemical techniques or traditional solution based hydrothermal techniques, this project involves the development of nanomaterials with advance applications.

Using electrochemical techniques, or traditional solution based hydrothermal techniques, we undertake the synthesis of functional nanomaterials.

Our researchers have explored the dramatic effects that nanostructure can have on catalytic and sensing performance.

New materials that are highly porous, or contain small amounts of noble metals doped into a base metal, are stable and active substitutes for supported nanoparticles.

Nanostructures oxides have also been developed with interesting photocalaytic properties. New materials are fed into all of CAMICS research streams to take advantage of our multidisciplinary work environment.

The many materials synthesised in this study proved effective catalysts for the electrocatalysis  sensing and photocatalysis. Several of the materials also demonstrated greatly increased surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy.

This study opens new possibilities in the creation of bespoke nanomaterials with potential application for multiple end users.

Team leader: Distinguished Professor Suresh Bhargava

Key people: Dr Lathe JonesDr Ahmad KandjaniDr Ylias Sabri

PhD positions available: Interested students and researchers should contact Dr Lathe Jones for possible candidature/collaboration.

Selected publications

  • Plowman, B. J., L. A. Jones and S. K. Bhargava (2015). "Building with bubbles: the formation of high surface area honeycomb-like films via hydrogen bubble templated electrodeposition." Chemical Communications 51(21): 4331-4346. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2015/cc/c4cc06638c
  • V E Coyle, D K Oppedisano, Lathe A Jones, A Kandjani, Y Sabri, S K Bhargava, Hydrogen Bubble Templated Growth of Honeycomb-Like Au-Pt Alloy Films for Non-Enzymatic Glucose Sensing, Journal of The Electrochemical Society, (2016), 163(14), pB689. http://jes.ecsdl.org/content/163/14/B689.full
  • A Rananaware, A Gupta, J Li, A Bilic, Lathe Jones, S Bhargava, S V Bhosale, A four-directional non-fullerene acceptor based on tetraphenylethylene and diketopyrrolopyrrole functionalities for efficient photovoltaic devices with a high open-circuit voltage of 1.18 V, Chemical Communications, (2016), 52, 8522. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2016/cc/c6cc03730e

Working with a number of collaborators, this project attempts to identify conditions where copper leaching can be optimised for low grade ores.

CAMIC has a long history of innovation minerals science, with or main research areas being copper and uranium.

This work has been supported by two recent linkage projects and multiple direct research contracts with industry.

CAMIC has a dedicated radiation lab where leaching and characterisation studies on both natural and synthetic minerals takes place, as well as a recent initiation in to studies on rare earth minerals.

These studies have taken place with CSIRO and BHP Billiton, and included new exploration of the bioleaching of uranium. 

The last 5 years have seen an expansion in to copper chemistry, with the close collaboration of Rio Tinto, Murdoch University, CSIRO and Monash University.

We have developed an understanding of the surface chemistry of copper ores using scanning electrochemical microscopy, and identified conditions where copper leaching can be optimised in a heap leach for low grade ores.

This work is leading to sustainable mining of refractory copper ores through significant gains in fundamental leaching and passivation mechanisms.

Team leader: Distinguished Professor Suresh Bhargava

Key people: Dr Lathe JonesDr James Tardio, Dr Rahul Ram, Associate Professor Miao Chen

PhD positions available: Interested students and researchers should contact Dr Lathe Jones for possible candidature/collaboration.

Selected publications

MEG is a multi-disciplinary group, consisting of a team of researchers across a broad range of science, mainly chemistry and related fields, exploring the next generation of molecular architectures.

With the vision of addressing significant global issues and to improve health and economic well-being, MEG uses its combined knowledge to design molecular structures with real applications. 

Despite the success of existing clinical metal compounds (such as cisplatin, a well-known and understood platinum-based compound for the treatment of cancer), further developments in drug therapy are necessary to overcome their drawbacks, primarily their high toxicity, which causes unwanted side-effects in the human body. 

This project seeks to develop a new class of anti-cancer gold drugs which are less toxic towards non-cancerous cells, thus minimising unwanted side-effects. This project intends to provide an alternative treatment for cancer patients requiring life-extending options or an ultimate cure for non-terminal cancer patients.

The major innovation of this project lies in combining for the first time the properties of flavonoids, a common antioxidant component in the human diet and a versatile foundation for anti-cancer drugs, and with a gold fragment to prepare novel gold complexes with notably improved biological properties.

Team leader: Distinguished Professor Suresh Bhargava

Key people: Dr Neda Mirzadeh (discipline leader), Dr Steven Privér, Dr Srinivasareddy TelukutlaDr Ravi Shukla, Dr Ramakrishna Sistla, Dr Ganga Reddy Velma

Associate members 

  • Professor Marin Bennett (Australia)
  • Professor Alan Bond (Australia)
  • Dr Lakshmi Kantham (India)
  • Professor Vivian Yam (Hong Kong)
  • Professor Sandy Blake (England)
  • Dr Jörg Wagler (Germany)
  • Professor Salvy Russo (Australia)
  • Dr Daniel Drumm (Australia)  

PhD positions available: Interested students and researchers should contact Dr Neda Mirzadeh for possible candidature/collaboration.

Selected publications

  • N. Mirzadeh, M. A. Bennett, S. K. Bhargava, “Cycloaurated complexes of aryl Carbanions: Digold(I), Digold(II) and Beyond”, Coord. Chem. Rev., 2013, 257, 2250. 
  • N. Mirzadeh, S. H. Privér, A. Abraham, R. Schukla, V. Bansal, S. Bhargava, “Linking flavonoids to gold: a new family of gold compounds for potential therapeutic applications”, Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2015, 4275.
  • A. E. O’Connor, N. Mirzadeh, S. K. Bhargava. T. Easun, M. Schroder, A. J. Blake, “Aurophilicity under pressure: a combined crystallographic and in-situ spectroscopic study”, Chem. Comm. 2016, 52, 6769. 
  • N. P. Kumar, P. Sharma, T. S. Reddy, S. Nekkanti, N. Shankaraiah, G. Lalita, S. Sujanakumari, S. K. Bhargava, V. G. M. Naidu, A. Kamal, “Synthesis of 2,3,6,7-tetramethoxyphenanthren-9-amine: An efficient precursor to access new 4-aza-2,3-dihydropyridophenanthrenes as apoptosis inducing agents”,  Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2017, 127, 305. 
  • M. A. Bennett, S. K. Bhargava, E. C. –C. Cheng, W. H. Lam, T. K. –M. Lee, S. H. Privér, J. Wagler, A. C. Willis, V. W. –W., Yam. “Unprecedented Near-Infrared (NIR) Emission in Diplatinum(III) (d7−d7) Complexes at Room Temperature”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 7094.
  • N. Mirzadeh, S. H. Privér, A. J. Blake, H. Schmidbaur, S. K. Bhargava, "Innovative Molecular Design Strategies in Materials Science Following the Aurophilicity Concept". Chem. Rev., 2020.
  • T. Srinivasa Reddy, D. Pooja, S. H. Priver, R. B. Luwor, N. Mirzadeh, S. Ramesan, S. Ramakrishna, K. Shailaja, K. Madhusudan, S.K. Bhargava, "Potent and selective cytotoxic and anti‐inflammatory gold(III) compounds containing cyclometallated phosphine sulfide ligands", Chem.-A Eur. J., 2019, 25, 1-13. 
  • V.G. Reddy, T. Srinivasa Reddy, S.H. Priver, Y. Bai, S. Mishra, D. Wlodkowic, N. Mirzadeh, S.K. Bhargava, "Synthesis of Gold(I) Complexes Containing Cinnamide: In Vitro Evaluation of Anticancer Activity in 2D and 3D Spheroidal Models of Melanoma and In Vivo Angiogenesis", Inorg. Chem., 2019, 58, 5988-5999.
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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer