Personal details

Dr Kathleen Mullen
Senior Lecturer
Science and Engineering Faculty,
Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering,
Molecular Design and Synthesis
Discipline *
Analytical Chemistry, Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry, Physical Chemistry (incl. Structural)
+61 7 3138 2393
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Identifiers and profiles

PhD (University of New England)

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Research Discipline : Chemistry
Research Area
This concept of creating molecular electronic devices has resulted in the development and rapid advance of the field of supramolecular chemistry. Synthetic developments using fundamental concepts such as preorganisation, molecular recognition, self-assembly and template-directed synthesis has resulted in a dramatic increase in the quantity and variety of supramolecular systems that can be made with the potential for functioning as molecular devices.
Our work looks at using interlocked architectures as the basis for the development of

  1. Sensors : which can encapsulate and sense environmentally or medicinally important anions;
  2. Switches or shuttles : in which the orientation or properties of an interlocked system can be changed through the application of external stimuli; and 
  3. Solid tethered supramolecular systems : to determine the impact of surface confinement on the dynamic molecules and ultimately move towards systems with more practical applications

Areas of Expertise

  • Supramolecular chemistry
  • Organic synthesis
  • Molecular recognition

Selected Research Projects

  • Anion Sensing by Mechanically-Interlocked Molecules
  • pH ‘Switchable’ Catenanes and Rotaxanes
  • Surface Tethered Molecular Devices

Career Highlights

  • Current – Lecturer, Queensland University of Technology
  • 2009-2011 – Postdoctoral research at the University of Edinburgh
  • 2007-2009 – Postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford
  • 2004-2007 – PhD in Chemistry at the University of New England
  • 2000-2002 – B. Science (Adv) with 1st Class Honours at the University of New England


This information has been contributed by Dr Kathleen Mullen.


Teaching Discipline : Chemistry
Teaching areas : Organic chemistry

This information has been contributed by Dr Kathleen Mullen.



Awards and recognition

Recipient of a Nationally Competitive Research Fellowship
Reference year
Fellowship Type: ARC Principal Research Fellowship Project Title: Synthetic molecular transporters External Reference : DP110100631 Years Awarded: 2011-2013 Total Funding Awarded: $288,673

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Synthetic Molecular Transporters
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
Nanotechnology; Dynamic Combinatorial Chemistry; Molecular Machines; Porphryins; Supramolecular Chemistry