Kennedy Group

Solid state and materials chemistry
We seek to understand the relationships between the chemistry, crystal structure, and electronic and magnetic properties of non-molecular solids to design new materials.

Our aims

The goal of our group is to discover new materials, using the methods of solid state chemistry, that can address technologies or scientific issues that require the introduction of new electronic or magnetic materials.  To realize the magnetic and electronic properties of interest we firstly syntheses new inorganic oxides exploiting, almost, the entire periodic table.  Crystallography, using neutron and synchrotron X-rays, is critical to our goal of understanding the relationships between the crystal structure and chemistry of bonding and the physics of magnetic and electronic properties

Our research

Magnetism via Spin Orbit Coupling

Spin-orbit coupling plays a critical role in controlling the magnetic properties of the heavier ( 4d and 5d) transition metals.  We are preparing novel oxides of Tc, Ru, Os and Ir to probe the complex interaction between the spin, orbital and lattice degrees of freedom.

Structural Phase Transitions

Many functional materials are poised near an instability, such that small external stimuli (temperature, pressure, environment) can have a giant effect on properties such as magnetism and conductivity.  Using high resolution crystallography we examine how crystal structures of such materials respond to such stimuli.

Closing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

We are investigating the relationship between chemical stability and structure in complex uranium oxides that may form in spent nuclear fuels

Order and Disorder in Complex Oxides

Crystals are built on long range order, but many properties (eg conductivity) arise from dynamic effets. We are using spectroscopic methods that allow us to detects and quantify local disorder in complex oxides.

Our people

  • Brendan Kennedy – Group leader
  • Dr Adriano Parvin Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • Gabriel Murphy, PhD student
  • Sean Injac, PhD student
  • Ben Li, PhD student
  • Alexander Brown, honours student (mid-year)


For information about opportunities to work or collaborate with the Kennedy Group, please contact

Brendan Kennedy

  • +61 2 9351 3329
  • Room 458 School of Chemistry F11