The Neto Group
Prof. Chiara Neto leads a group of enthusiastic scientists and engineers that are fascinated with interfacial phenomenon. They use an arsenal of advanced characterization techniques to understand the nanoscale behavior behind a range of unique and exciting anti-fouling, droplet shedding and water harvesting coatings.
Professor Chiara Neto
School of Chemistry
Chiara Neto received her Masters degree in Chemistry (1998) and PhD (2001) at the University of Florence, Italy. Her PhD work focused on experiments on surface forces and interfaces using the atomic force microscope. In 2002-2003 she worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Ulm in the Department of Applied Physics, headed by Prof. Stephan Herminghaus and at Saarland University, in the group of Prof. Karin Jacobs, working on the dewetting of thin polymer films. Between 2003 and 2006 she worked as an Australian Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the Australian National University in the Department of Applied Mathematics, working on nanorheology and micropatterning. In 2007 she moved to the University of Sydney, where she is currently Professor in Physical Chemistry and ARC Future Fellow. Since 2012 Chiara Neto is on the Board of Directors of the Australasian Colloid and Interface Society.
Dr Geosmin Turpin
School of Chemistry
Geosmin joined the Neto group at the middle of 2022 as a postdoctoral researcher after completing her PhD in the School of Chemistry at Monash University. During her candidature she explored surfactant-free methods for helping 1D and 2D nanoparticles to overcome their boundary issues and enrich to interfaces, allowing for the formation of nanomaterial coatings. She has continued to follow her interest in coatings, nanoscale topography and surface science in her current project, which is a partnership with Dulux looking at how nanofibers can be integrated into paint to make it more durable and environmentally friendly. Geosmin hopes by being visible she can pave the way for other transgender and neurodivergent scientists in the future.
Mr Chris Vega
Christopher Vega received the B.Eng. degree in Electromechanical Engineering from the Costa Rica Institute of Technology (ITCR). In 2011, he was awarded a DAAD scholarship to attend a M.Sc. in Microsystems Engineering from the University of Freiburg, Germany. In 2014, he joined the Department of Electromechanical Engineering at ITCR, as a lecturer and researcher, where he worked on the design of low-cost microfluidics and simulation. Then, he received a scholarship from the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of Costa Rica and moved to Sydney in 2018, where he commenced his Ph.D. candidature working on nano-structured surface modification for microfluidic devices.
Dr Isaac Gresham
School of Chemistry
Isaac joined the Neto group in late 2021 as a postdoctoral researcher after completing his PhD at the University of New South Wales. During his PhD he used landmark infrastructure at the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering to resolve the structure of solvated polymer interfaces. His PhD project transformed Isaac from a chemical engineering grad into some combination of an interface scientist, polymer chemist, data analyst and handyman.
His current project seeks to understand why covalently tethered nano-thin layers of silicone oil molecules behave as if they were a liquid interface.
Mr Jun Ki Hong
School of Chemistry
Jun is currently carrying out his PhD in the Neto Group and co-supervised by Dr. Anna Waterhouse (Faculty of Medicine and Health).Combining his interests in nanoscience and biomedical research, he is studying the applications of nanotechnology for medical devices used in cardiovascular surgery in a truly multidisciplinary project. He graduated from The University of Sydney with a double major in Chemistry (1st Class Honours) and Cell Pathology. Jun also has industry and commercial experience having spent almost 2 years between the start-up environment and the corporate world in a key stakeholder management role, working to commercialise a variety of advanced materials-based technologies for medical devices, renewable energy and quantum computing. His commercial interests lies in technology transfer processes such as market analysis, business development and research commercialisation management.
Mr Anthony Katselas
School of Chemistry
Anthony originally joined the Neto group in 2018, achieving his BSc Chemistry (Honours) investigating the self-assembly behaviour of perfluorinated molecules at graphite interfaces. After spending a year and a half working as an explosives Development Chemist for Dyno Nobel, he returned to pursue his PhD in 2020 with Prof. Chiara Neto in the field of advanced atmospheric water capture. Anthony also brings a broad range of experience to the group from his time prior to his academic pursuits. Early on in his career he completed his B Management at the University of Newcastle and worked through various management, technical and marketing roles in the heavy machinery industry.
Mr Seamus Lilley
Research Volunteer 2022
School of Chemistry
Dewpoint is a startup that has recently been spun out of the ACWA project: a collaboration between Prof. Martijn de Sterke and Prof. Chiara Neto and a child of the Sydney Nano Institute’s Grand Challenges initiative. Dewpoint shares a lab space with the Neto Research group, and the two teams work closely together to solve everyday challenges.
Dr Ming Chiu
Ming Chiu completed his Bachelor of Science majoring in Chemistry and Ecology at The University of Adelaide (2010). Then, he finished his Honours Degree in Chemistry (2011) at the same institute working on computational study on conjugated polymers. After that, he spent 5 years at Omega Industries working as Industrial Chemist in surface coating industry. He commenced his PhD candidature with Professor Chiara Neto in 2016 working on project of optimizing of droplet roll-off on dewetted polymeric patterned surfaces. Ming completed his PhD in October 2021.
- Kosta Tsoukalas, Undergrad volunteer July 2022
- Seamus Lilley, Undergrad volunteer June-July 2022
- Margot Attali,Visiting Master student 2020, Microfluidic flow on liquid-infused surfaces.
- Owen Schumacher, Visiting Master student 2020, Dropwise condensation on porous polymer surfaces.
- Roisin D’Art, Visiting Master student 2019, Food safe surface via liquid infused surfaces.
- Felix Vuellers, Visiting PhD student 2017, Contact line movement over structured surfaces.
- Truis Smith-Palmer, Visiting Professor, 2016-2017, from the Department of Chemistry at St Francis Xavier University, NS, Canada.
- Nan Gao, Postdoc, 2017, “Contact line dynamics on micro-patterned surfaces”.
- Liwen Zhu, Postdoc 2016-2021, “Industry linkage program – the application of Janus nanoparticles in paint formulations”.
- Sam Peppou-Chapman, PhD student, 2017-2020; “Distribution and Deplection of Lubricant on Anti-fouling Lubricant-infused Surfaces”.
- Dr Riccardo Parin, Postdoc Nov 2019-Oct 2020; “Advanced Capture of Water from the Atmosphere”.
- Dr Renzo Fenati, Postdoc 2019-2020; “Anti-fouling properties of liquid-infused surfaces”.
- Ahmed Owais Mohamed Ahmed, PhD student, 2017-2020, “Driving Forces for Wetting and Adsorption on Functional Surfaces”; Now employed by the vibrational spectroscopy node in Sydney Analytical at the University of Sydney.
- Liam Scarratt, PhD student, 2015-2018, “Wetting and liquid flow on lubricant infused nano- and micro-structured surfaces”; now working at the University of Geneva.
- Anthony Katselas, Honours student, 2018 – 2019, “The halogen bond driven self-assembly of 1-iodoperfluorododecane on graphite”.
- Monica Tonelli, Erasmus Mundus Visiting Scholar, 2017-2018, “Surface modification of cement surfaces”.
- Elena Colusso, Erasmus Mundus Visiting Scholar, 2017-2018, “Patterning of sol-gel films”.
- Erin Humphries, Summer Scholar, 2016-2017, “Anti-biofouling SLIPS surfaces”.
- Jun Ki Hong, Honours Student, 2016-2017,”Self-assembled perfluorocarbon monolayer functionalisation of silicon surface driven by halogen bonding”.
- Cameron Ware, Honours student, 2016, “Fabrication and characterisation of slippery lubricant infused polymeric wrinkled surfaces”.
- Omar Al-Khayat, PhD student, 2013-2016, “Dewetting polymer bilayers by solvent vapour annealing: A pathway to manufacturing biomimetic water harvesting surface coatings”; now working at Laing O’Rourke Engineering Excellence Group.
- Elliot Wood, Honours student, 2015-2016, “Fabrication of self-assembled mono-, Bi- and trilayers based on halogen bonding”.
- Hien Duong, Postdoc 2014-2016; “All-polymeric Janus nanoparticles”; now Research Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney.
- Ms Keyun Shou, Honours 2015; “Self-assembled monolayers based on halogen bonding”.
- Mr David Beck, Honours 2015; “Dewetted polymer patterns for atmospheric water capture”.
- Manuel Ghezzi, PhD student “Functional surface micropatterns by dewetting of thin polymer films” 2012-2015; now Senior Researcher at Apollo Qu’mica, Mexico.
- Wei Zhao, Postdoc; “New polymers for water capture”, Oct-Dec 2014; current postdoc at AIBN, the University of Queensland.
- Ben Hoatson, Summer scholar, 2014, “Polymeric superhydrophobic surfaces”.
- Stuart Thickett, Postdoc; “Micro patterned surfaces for water capture”, 2009-2010; then “Micropatterning of proteins and cells on dewetted thin polymer films” 2010-2012; current Vice-Chancellor’s Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, CAMDI, School of Chemical Engineering, The University of New South Wales.
- Thomas Lee, Honours student, “The origin of the contact electrification of insulators” 2009; then PhD student 2010–2013 “Tunable nanopatterns formed by polymer brushes”. Now postdoc in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Andrew Michael Telford, PhD student “Advanced functional coatings for biomedical applications: patterning cells onto biomaterials” 2008-2011, then Post-doc 2011-2013. Now postdoc at the Experimental Solid State Physics department, Imperial College London.
- Eric Charrault, Postdoc 2012-2014; Now postdoc at the Mawson Institute, university of South Australia, Adelaide.
- Liwen Zhu, PhD Student 2009-2012, “Reliable measurement of slip using colloid probe atomic force microscopy”.
- Say Kwang Lim, “Covalent protein immobilisation and patterning on thin polymer films”, MSc 2012. Honours student “Preferential protein adsorption on micro-phase separated block-copolymer thin films” 2009. Now Assistant Chemist at Nanosonics, Sydney.
- Yusuf Ziya Sahin, Graduate Diploma student, 2009. Thesis title: “Investigating nanowire growth using block copolymer templates”.
- Tanushan Samuel-Thambiah, Honours student, 2009, “An investigation into the properties and applications of nickel nanowires”.
- Veronica Fung, Summer Scholar, 2008, “Superhydrophobic Nickel Nanocarpets”.
- Kyle Joseph, Honours student 2008, “Nanocarpets and More: Control over Surface Wettability and Patterning using Metallic Nanowires”.
- William Brant, Summer scholar, 2007, “Electrodeposition of Nickel nanocarpets”.