Resources and Facilities

The Particles and Catalysis Research Group is housed in the 6 star rating (Energy Efficient) Tyree Energy Technology building within the UNSW Kensington campus. It is equipped with modern laboratories and specialised equipment and techniques for material synthesis; an array of state-of-the-art instrument for particle and material characterisation, as well as photoreactor and reactor system for testing photocatalyst and catalyst performance. We are also co-located with UNSW’s Analytical Centre, and possess full access to their nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectroscopy, solid state and surface analysis, and electron microscopy facilities.


Instrument Booking and Training

Our instruments are currently not available for new external users outside Particle and Catalysis Research Group, unless it is on a collaborative project or with prior agreement with staff/academics in PARTCAT group. If you would like to use our instruments, charges will be applied to reimburse the technical staff time, consumables and chemicals used. For general enquiries about working in our laboratory or how to access the facilities, please contact Mandalena Hermawan.

Click here to access online equipment booking (note: only for authorised user).


Click on the links below for more information on some of our facilities.

Dynamic Light Scattering

Malvern Nano DLS

Malvern Nano DLS use the Dynamic Light Scattering technique to measure particle and molecule size.This technique measure the diffusion of particles moving under Brownian motion, and converts this to size and a size distribution using the Stokes-Einstein relationship. Non-invasive back scatter technology is incorporated to give better sensitivity and ability to measure particle at higher concentration.

Specification: 0.3nm to 10.0 microns (sample dependent)
ManufacturerMalvern Zetasizer
DownloadLight Scattering Theory [pdf, 1.75 Mb]


Malvern Zetasizer

The Malvern Zetsizer Nano uses the Laser Doppler Micro-electrophoresis technique to measure zeta potential. An electric field is applied to a solution of molecules or a dispersion of particles, which then move with a velocity related to their zeta potential. This velocity is measured using a patented laser interferometric technique called M3=PALS, and their electrophoretic mobility calcuated, and zeta potential can be determined

ManufacturerMalvern Zetasizer
Specification: Size 3.8 nm to 100 μm (sample dependent); pH 1-13


Surface Area and Porosity

The Micromeritics TriStar 3000 Analyzer uses physical adsorption and capillary condensation principles to obtain information about the surface area and porosity of a solid material. From the adsorption and desorption isotherms, information about the surface and internal pore characteristics of the particle can be obtained.

Micromeritics Tristar 3000

ManufacturerMicromeritics Instrument Corporation
Specification: Surface area >0.01 m2g-1



The AutoChem II 2920 utilizes the dynamic (flowing gas) technique to perform chemical adsorption analysis of active sites on the surface of particles. By comparing the sample stream to a reference stream of pure carrier gas, changes in gas composition resulting from reactions in the sample cell can be determined. This in turn provides information about active sites on the particle surface.

Micromeritics AutoChem II 2920

ManufacturerMicromeritics Instrument Corporation
Specification: Ambient to 1100 °C; Gas flow rate of 0 to 100 mL per min (for H2)