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.
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.
Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science
Honorary Professor (Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, China)