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nigel_lucasPhD, BSc(Hons) (ANU)

Tel: 03 479 5377
Location: Science II, 3n10

Professional Background

1997 BSc(Hons), Australian National University
2002 PhD, Australian National University
2002 Postdoctoral Research, University of NSW
2003-5 Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz
2005-8 ARC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Sydney
2008-12 Lecturer, University of Otago
2009-18 MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, Associate Investigator
2012-18 Senior Lecturer, University of Otago
2018- Associate Professor, University of Otago
2018-MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, Principal Investigator
2020-22 Associate Dean (Postgraduate), Division of Sciences
2023- Head of Department


Our research centres on the design, synthesis and characterisation of new carbon-rich molecular materials, in particular, those based on polyaromatic building blocks and often incorporating metals. While much of our experimental work is focused on the synthesis of molecules, we are also interested in the how these molecules interact with each other through intermolecular interactions in solution, in the bulk (solid, liquid crystalline mesophases) and on surfaces. This knowledge enables us to design new molecules that have not only the desired physical properties (e.g. optical, electronic), but also the ability to self-organise from solution into ordered nanoscale structures.

Main Research Interests:

  • synthesis and properties of carbon-rich molecular materials
  • supramolecular chemistry and self-assembly
  • organometallic chemistry and catalysis
  • materials for hydrogen storage
  • metal-containing liquid crystals
  • crystallography


Mapley, J. I., Smith, J. N., Shillito, G. E., Fraser-Miller, S. J., Lucas, N. T., & Gordon, K. C. (2023). Exploring the excited states of a hexa-peri-hexabenzocoronene-substituted dipyridophenazine ligand and its metal complexes. Inorganic Chemistry. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.3c01007

Smith, J. N., Ennis, C., & Lucas, N. T. (2021). Rigid, biconical hydrogen-bonded dimers that strongly encapsulate cationic guests in solution and the solid state. Chemical Science, 12, 11858-11863. doi: 10.1039/d1sc01802g

Olding, A., Ho, C. C., Canty, A. J., Lucas, N. T., Horne, J., & Bissember, A. C. (2021). Synthesis of arylpalladium(II) boronates: Confirming the structure of pre-transmetalation intermediates in the suzuki-miyaura reaction crystallographically. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 60, 14897-14901. doi: 10.1002/anie.202104802

Smith, J. N., & Lucas, N. T. (2018). Rigid tetraarylene-bridged cavitands from reduced-symmetry resorcin[4]arene derivatives. Chemical Communications, 54, 4716. doi: 10.1039/c8cc01903g

Smith, J. N., Hook, J. M., & Lucas, N. T. (2018). Superphenylphosphines: Nanographene-based ligands that control coordination geometry and drive supramolecular assembly. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 143(3), 1131-1141. doi: 10.1021/jacs.7b12251

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