PhD (Sydney University)
Australian Reseach Council Laureate Fellow
+61 (0)7 33467614

Prof Paul Burn is Head and co-director of the Centre for Organic Photonics & Electronics (COPE), which is an interdisciplinary centre combining chemistry, materials science (nanotechnology), and physics. COPE takes a holistic approach to research and development by combining synthesis, materials and device characterisation, molecular modelling and condensed matter theory. COPE is a broad church, with activities ranging across the gamut of photonics and electronics in organic materials and beyond.


After completing my PhD I carried out post-doctoral research at Cambridge University for four years, being the Dow Research Fellow at Christ’s College for three years. In 1992 I took up a Lectureship in Organic Chemistry at Oxford University and a Tutorial Fellowship at University College, Oxford. In March 2007 I joined The University of Queensland as an ARC Federation Fellow.

Brief Research Description: 
Organic opto-electronics
Research Focus and Collaborations: 

Our research interests revolve around "high-tech" materials that can be used in applications such as flat panel displays, solar cells, optical switches, plastic electronics, sensors, and fuel cells. Projects in the Centre range from synthetic chemistry, through physical chemistry and materials science, to theory and prototype device manufacturing and testing. The materials research involves the development of new synthetic methods and strategies, and investigations towards understanding the crucial structure-property relationships in them. This enables us to engineer materials at the molecular level to give optimal performance. Major materials themes are dendrimers, polymers and porphyrins that are comprised of organic and/or inorganic components. In particular the materials we are interested in are classed as “organic semiconductors” and these have electronic properties similar to traditional semiconductors such as silicon but the processability and flexibility of plastics. In addition, we have also started a collaborative program on the development of new vaccine constructs.

Funded Projects: 
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (UK): Optimum Detectors for Artificial Object Recognition; Multilayer photopatterned LEDs for colour displays
  • ARC Federation Fellowship
  • UQ: Creation of the Centre for Organic Semiconductor Research comprising state-of-the art synthesis and characterization facilities, clean room and device fabrication and testing equipment
  • ARC Discovery grant: “Macromolecular materials for organic solar cells”
  • ARC Discovery grant: “Dendrimers: multidimensional sensors”
  • ARC Linkage portable sensor for explosives”
  • QLD Government NIRAP: “Organic solar cell alliance”
  • Australian Solar Institute: “New Materials and Architectures for Organic Solar Cells – Beyond the Shockley-Queisser Limit”
  • ARC Discovery grant: “Diffusion - the key to performance in organic optoelectronic devices”
  • ARC Discovery grant: “Detecting the invisible”
  • CSIRO Future Manufacturing Flagship Cluster: "Transparent conducting electrodes"
Significant Professional Activities and Awards: 

Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science

Honorary Professor (Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, China)

Selected Publications: 
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