ARC Externally-Funded Research Fellow
School of Physical Sciences
Faculty of Sciences
Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.
2012 - PhD, Flinders University of South Australia, Carbon nanotube modified surfaces for water filtration, gene transfection and as electron sources.
2012-2014, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Muenster (Germany), Photocatalytic hydrogen production using metal oxide coated carbon nanotubes.
2014-2015, Researcher in Business, PMB Defense Engineering and Flinders University, Submarine battery lifetime
2015-2017 ARC Resarch Associate, Flinders University, Carbon nanotube photovoltaics
2018 -2019, University of Adelaide Research Fellow, Nanostructured photocatalysts for energy conversion
2019-2020, Researcher in Business, Membrane Systems Australia and UniSA, Large-scale PFAS remediation
2020-Current, ARC Future Fellow, University of Adelaide, Light-driven degradation of persistent organic pollutants
I aim to use fundamental chemistry and materials science to find solutions to environmentally relevant problems such as the destruction of pollutants or the generation of renewable fuels.
Sunlight is the most abundant energy source on Earth yet it is still underutilized in chemical synthesis. Photocatalysis is the key to unlock the potential of light in a range of applications.
Photocatalytic degradation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) can cause cancer and birth defects in humans and are destructive to animal and aquatic lifeforms. POPs are by-products of some agricultural and industrial processes and do not degrade naturally due to their strong chemical bonds (e.g. C-Cl, C-F) which are resistant to chemical- and bio-degradation (example POPs are shown in Figure 1).
There is a need to develop methods and processes for effective degradation of POPs to mitigate their emerging health and environmental effects.
I synthesise of new photocatalytic materials with designed electronic band structure to break C-Cl or C-F bonds (which are present in all POPs). Materials of interest are titanium and tantalum based perovskites such as SrTiO3 and NaTa2O3.
A final aspect of this research is the translation of research to commercial application and photocatalytic processes and reactors will be developed with close ties to industry to degrade pollutants relevant to Australia (Figure 1).
Hydrogen production via photocatalytic water splitting
Hydrogen can be produced directly from water and produces only water when burned, making it a completely renewable and non-polluting fuel source that could replace fossil fuels. However, current methods to produce hydrogen requires a significant amount of energy and it is still not economically competitive with oil and gas.
My research aims to produce light absorbing materials which can produce hydrogen (H2) from water (H2O) using only energy from sunlight to drive the reaction.
To achieve this, We prepare metal oxides which absorb light, store the energy, and then use the energy to split water. This process is enhanced with co-catalysts to drive hydrogen evolution or oxygen evolution. These co-catalysts are often rare and expensive materials (platinum or rhodium), so we deposit few-atom cluster co-catalysts which we find improve performance and reduce the amount of precious materials used.
My research in reducing the cost of hydrogen production materials is shown in the video:
High resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is used to observe the materials at the atomic scale.
Date Position Institution name 2020 ARC Future Fellow University of Adelaide 2019 - 2020 Researcher in Business Membrane Systems Australia and University of South Australia 2018 - 2019 Research Fellow University of Adelaide 2015 - 2017 ARC Research Associate Flinders University 2014 - 2015 Researcher in Business PMB Defense Engineering and Flinders University 2012 - 2014 Postdoctoral Research Associate University of Muenster
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2019 Fellowship ARC Future Fellow Australian Research Council Australia — 2018 Award South Australian Young Tall Poppy Australian Institute of Policy & Sciences Australia — 2017 Research Award International Synchrotron Access Program Australian synchrotron — $6,400 2016 Award Flinders University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Early Career Researchers — — $2,500 2015 Award Australia-China Young Scientist Exchange Program ATSE Australia ~$10,000 2015 Achievement Business Pitch Competition at the Nanotechnology Entrepreneurship Workshop for Early Career Researchers — — $1000 2012 Award South Australian PhD Research Excellence award — — $10000 2009 Achievement ARNAM student scholarship for collaborative research — — $3,500
Date Institution name Country Title 2008 - 2012 Flinders University Australia PhD 2003 - 2007 Flinders University Australia BSc (Honours)
Year Citation 2018 Yu, L., Batmunkh, M., Shearer, C., Shapter, J. G., & Shapter, J. G. (2018). Use of Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) in Third‐Generation Solar Cells. In S. K. Kurinec (Ed.), Emerging Photovoltaic Materials: Silicon & Beyond (pp. 551-609). Wiley.
2017 Batmunkh, M., Grace, T., Shearer, C., Tune, D., Yu, L., Mark, M., . . . Shapter, J. (2017). Use of Carbon Nanotubes in Third-Generation Solar Cells. In H. Peng, Q. Li, & T. Chen (Eds.), Industrial Applications of Carbon Nanotubes (pp. 201-249). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
2016 Cherevan, A., Gebhardt, P., Shearer, C., & Eder, D. (2016). Nanocarbon hybrid materials. In K. D. Sattler (Ed.), Carbon Nanomaterials Sourcebook: Nanoparticles, Nanocapsules, Nanofibers, Nanoporous Structures, and Nanocomposites (Vol. 2, pp. 625-646). USA: CRC Press. 2014 Shearer, C., & Eder, D. (2014). Synthesis strategies of nanocarbon hybrids. In D. Eder, & R. Schloegl (Eds.), Nanocarbon-inorganic hybrids: Next generation composites for sustainable energy applications (pp. 125-170). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH.
2014 Shearer, C., Cherevan, A., & Eder, D. (2014). Application of functional hybrids incorporating carbon nanotubes or graphene. In K. Tanaka, & S. Iijima (Eds.), Carbon nanotubes and graphene: edition 2 (2 ed., pp. 387-433). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Year Citation 2010 Shearer, C., Velleman, L., Acosta, F., Ellis, A., Voelcker, N., Mattia, D., & Shapter, J. (2010). Water transport through nanoporous materials: Porous silicon and single walled carbon nanotubes. In ICONN 2010 - Proceedings of the 2010 International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (pp. 196-199). IEEE.
2008 Shearer, C. J., Constantopoulos, K. T., Voelcker, N. H., Shapter, J. G., & Ellis, A. V. (2008). Preparation and characterisation of vertically aligned single-walled carbon nanotube arrays on porous silicon. In N. H. Voelcker, & H. W. Thissen (Eds.), Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering Vol. 7267 (pp. 11 pages). Melbourne, AUSTRALIA: SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING.
2008 Constantopoulos, K. T., Shearer, C. J., Shapter, J. G., Voelcker, N. H., & Ellis, A. V. (2008). Preparation and characterisation of multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)/polymer nanostructured materials. In N. H. Voelcker, & H. W. Thissen (Eds.), Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering Vol. 7267 (pp. 11 pages). Melbourne, AUSTRALIA: SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING.
DOI Scopus1 WoS1
Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2021 Co-Supervisor Solar hydrogen production from Z-scheme photocatalysis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Thomas Douglas Small 2020 Co-Supervisor Effect of Phosphine-ligated Gold Clusters on Reduced Graphene Oxide in Electro/Photo-catalytic Water splitting Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Hanieh Mousavi 2020 Co-Supervisor Photocatalytic Water-Splitting Under Lunar Conditions Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Froilan Mathew Directo
Date Role Committee Institution Country 2021 - ongoing Member Hypt-2 Organising Comittee 2nd Forum on Hydrogen Production Technologies Australia
Date Role Membership Country 2012 - ongoing Member RACI Australia 2008 - ongoing — Australian Nanotechnology Network (ANN) —
Date Title Engagement Type Institution Country 2021 - ongoing Assesor, Oliphant Science Award Public Community Engagement South Australian Science Teachers Association — 2019 - ongoing Speaker, Night of Science Public Community Engagement South Australian Museum —
Connect With Me