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sally_brooker3PhD, BSc(Hons) (Cant)

Tel: +64 3 479 7919
Location: Science II, 2c4

Full information about my research group and research opportunities:

My research group is currently working in the following areas:

  • Designer heterocycle-containing and diphenylamine-containing ligands (including macrocycles) and coordination complexes: design, synthesis, crystal structure determinations, redox and magnetic properties.
  • Green catalysts for (a) generation of green hydrogen (C-zero fuel) from water and for (b) reduction of carbon dioxide to C-neutral fuels and commodity chemicals. Both are being studied under electrocatalytic (in collaboration with Associate Professor Aaron Marshall, Canterbury) and photocatalytic (solar fuels, in collaboration with Professor Garry Hanan, Montreal) conditions.
  • Spin crossover complexes – towards nanoswitches and memory devices. We measure magnetic data in house (and Mössbauer spectroscopy 4.6-300 K via in-house collaboration with Dr Guy Jameson).
  • Single Molecule Magnets (SMMs): one-pot self-assembly of soluble stable 3d-4f tetrametallic SMMs, by formation of a large organic Schiff-base macrocyclic ligands with differing coordination pockets, N2O2 for 3d and central O6 for 4f, and differing ring sizes (in collaboration with Prof Annie Powell, KIT; detailed magnetic studies with Dr Rodolphe Clerac, Bordeaux).
  • Immobilisation by attachment of magnetically or catalytically interesting complexes to nanoparticles (in-house collaboration with Associate Professor Carla Meledandri) or to other surfaces (in collaboration with Associate Professor Aaron Marshall, Canterbury).
  • Green polymerisation catalysts for (i) controlled polymerisation of rac-lactide (from biomass, not oil building blocks), and (ii) co-polymersiation of CO2 with epoxide (in collaboration with Professor Charlotte Williams, Imperial College London).
  • Self-assembly of communicating arrays of transition metal ions – grids vs side-by-side complexes.
  • Functional models of the Mn4Ca cluster, the oxygen evolving complex (OEC), otherwise known as the water oxidation catalyst (WOC) of green plants (2H2O = O2 + 4H+ + 4e-).
  • Lanthanide cages as a new generation of luminescent 'probes'.


Sundaresan, S., & Brooker, S. (2023). Solution spin crossover versus speciation effects: A cautionary tale. Inorganic Chemistry, 62, 12192-12202. doi: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.3c00186

Robb, M. G., & Brooker, S. (2023). Incorporation of switchable inorganic building blocks into heterometallic coordination polymers. Crystal Growth & Design. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1021/acs.cgd.2c01341

Brooker, S. (2022). German-New Zealand Green Hydrogen Centre: Research, networking and outreach. Proceedings of the 16th Otago Energy Research Centre (OERC) Symposium: An Equitable and Low-Cost Energy Transition. (pp. 21). Retrieved from

Hamonnet, J., Bennington, M. S., Johannessen, B., Hamilton, J., Brooksby, P. A., Brooker, S., … Marshall, A. T. (2022). Influence of carbon support on the pyrolysis of cobalt phthalocyanine for the efficient electroreduction of CO2. ACS Catalysis, 12, 14571-14581. doi: 10.1021/acscatal.2c03929

Bouldi, N., Mannini, M., Retegan, M., Miller, R. G., Cahier, B., Sainctavit, P., … Brooker, S., & Juhin, A. (2022). XAS and XMCD reveal a cobalt(II) imide undergoes high-pressure-induced spin crossover. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 126, 5784-5792. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.2c00614

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