Macquarie University presented its annual Research Awards at a special awards ceremony held on campus on Wednesday evening. The Macquarie University Research Awards are open to all staff and postgraduate students at the University.
This year, the Macquarie University Research Awards covered the full spectrum of research activities. The Awards, which consist of a framed certificate plus a cash prize of $2000 for an individual winner and $3000 for a team, were given in six categories this year. Also announced was the winner of the Early Career Researcher of the Year Award.
The purpose of the Awards is to focus on research excellence being undertaken at the University and reward staff and postgraduate students for outstanding performance and excellence in research and innovation.
Amongst the award winners was Dr James Rabeau, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Science, whose team won an award for "Excellence in Research" in the field of Science and Engineering. The award was won for research into nano diamonds.
The work they perfomed related the production and characterisation of nano diammonds, which are several thousand times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. They aslo possess properties far different to diamonds that are only 10 or 100 times larger.
These particular materials are of interest to the field of quantum technology which exploits the quantum properties of matter. This involves using single light particles and spins to process information more quickly as well as to communicate information in an entirely secure manner.
The nano diamonds that Dr. Rabeau and his team are producing give off light and it is this light that is of interest to researchers. In particular, biologists are intersted in these materials as they can attach to molecules and proteins so they can follow cellular interactions.
For more information on his work on nano diamonds, see the video interview below.