Deakin Research

Institute for Frontier Materials

ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science

ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science

International Electromaterials Science Symposium 2012

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) brings together eminent scientists from several institutions including University of Wollongong, Monash University, Deakin University, Latrobe University, University of Tasmania and St. Vincents Hospital, to develop the nano-science and nanotechnology related to the movement of electric charge within and between materials. The approach provides an alternative to varying the composition of a material to alter physical and biological properties - instead we alter dimensions and shape in the nanodomain. These processes are fundamentally important to a diverse array of phenomena important in medicine and industry

The core research programs supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence are four in number:


The key challenge of this program is the development of innovative routes to functionalized nanomaterials that enhance both the chemical and physical properties required for the targeted areas. This program encompasses materials synthesis, fabrication and characterisation. In the area of characterisation we focus in particular on novel advanced techniques in both electrochemistry, surface techniques and solid state NMR.


The Energy program utilizes advances in our design, synthesis and fabrication of new electromaterials for applications such as: Solar Hydrogen Generation and Metal/Air Batteries


The Bionics program exploits new electromaterials in the areas of stimulation and neuromuscular repair and in the design and development of an advanced cochlear electrode implant.


The role of the Ethics program is to develop a critical social and ethical response to the emerging science and its applications.

ACES at Deakin University (IFM)

Our main focus at Deakin University is in the area of electromaterials and advanced characterization with particular emphasis on Energy Storage. In collaboration with our Monash University ACES colleagues, we have made advances in solid state materials for lithium batteries, solar cells and Mg/air as outlined below.

Lithium batteries

Lithium metal

Plastic crystal electrolytes have also provided a breakthrough in the field of solid state lithium batteries. Continuous and stable cell cycling for periods exceeding 40 days have been achieved. These materials are similar to ionic liquids and offer the same low volatility and stability, but are solid at operating temperatures and hence enable the possibility of thin film printing of lithium cells.


Our successful ARC LIEF grant will establish a state of the art in-situ solid state NMR Facility at Waurn Ponds which will include the ability to image devices during operation and also the measure diffusion of ions and molecules in novel electromaterials being developed across the Centre. We also continue to make extensive use of the Australian Synchrotron for materials characterization and for in-situ battery testing to determine the interface that develops on a Mg anode in a Mg/air battery during cycling. A new Veeco optical profilometer is also proving invaluable characterizing the structure of electrode surfaces.

Mg/air batteries

We have recently discovered electrolyte systems that improve the rate capability, efficiency and shelf­life of Magnesium/Air batteries. The electrical behaviour of the battery appears to be highly dependent on the nature of an interfacial (possibly resistive) salt film that is formed on the magnesium surface. The properties of the salt film vary substantially with each electrolyte and we sought to understand the role of the film composition and morphology in determining the electrical behaviour of the battery. An in-situelectrochemical cell was designed for use in the powder diffraction synchrotron beamline at the Australian Synchrotron to study the Mg/electrolyte interface.

IFM researchers

ResearcherPosition in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science
Professor Maria Forsyth Associate Research Director & Chief Investigator
Dr Patrick Howlett Research Fellow - Materials

In addition to the activities at Deakin University, the ACES research Nodes include:

University of Tasmania    St Vincent's Hospital    Latrobe University    Monash University    University of Wollongong

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

10th December 2013