Quantum Nanoscience Lab opens

24 November 2011

The Quantum Nanoscience Laboratory, based in the School of Physics and under the direction of Dr David Reilly, was officially opened by philanthropist, Mr John Hooke CBE on 24 November.

Dr David Reilly, who has been a member of the Quantum Science Research Group since his arrival from Harvard in 2008, said he was pleased that the Quantum Nanoscience Lab generated such enthusiasm.

"Controlling the quantum world at the nanoscale promises to advance our understanding of Nature at its most basic level and ultimately establish revolutionary technologies that span the range from powerful computing, to enhanced bio-sensing."

Mr Hooke, who has endowed the $5million John Hooke Chair of Nanoscience, said, "Nanoscience is an all-pervasive thing that touches just about every branch of science and engineering. It is at an exciting stage, a bit like the early days of transistors: no one could forecast precisely where they would be applied, but we just knew it would be everywhere. Within this vast spectrum, I believe that, rather than competing head-on with the rest of the world, we can create areas in which we are world leaders."

The focus of Dr Reilly's research is Quantum Nanoscience. In particular this includes the construction and control of nanoscale electronic devices that exhibit exotic quantum effects to enable new applications in sensing, imaging and, in the future, quantum computing.

The research is strongly multidisciplinary and involves several collaborations with other Schools and Faculties at Sydney (Medicine), nationally and internationally.

Dr Reilly adds, "Our effort to harness the quantum properties of nano-diamonds as contrast agents for MRI is a flagship project that brings together quantum physics theorists, chemists, immunologists and engineers."

"Our vision is to prepare the spin-states of nano particles so that they "light-up" in a MRI scanner and act as beacons of disease and cellular processes."

Originally the lab was run in a small space on Level 1 of the School of Physics with start-up funds to purchase the key infrastructure needed for the work.

However, since that time, Dr Reilly has successfully generated substantial funding and built a large team that will form a core of the research underpinning the Australian Institute of Nanoscience (AIN).

The Quantum Nanoscience Lab has seven PhD students working in this cutting edge research area. Dr Reilly says he's delighted with the enthusiasm of the students and their work in the new lab.

Contact: Dr David Reilly

Phone: 02 9351 8167

Email: 3112055e1b0e365b47523c3f574b1e4d1a2a0c49003e176b353f53