Professor Colin Raston

Professor of Clean Technology

College of Science and Engineering

place Physical Sciences Building (2005)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia
Professor Colin Raston FRACI CChem FRSC is a South Australia Premier's Professorial Research Fellow in Clean Technology. He completed a PhD under the guidance of Professor Allan White, and after postdoctoral studies with Professor Michael Lappert at the University of Sussex, he was appointed a lecturer at The University of Western Australia (1981) then to Chairs of Chemistry at Griffith University (1988), Monash University (1995), The University of Leeds (2001), and The University of Western Australia (2003). He is a former President, Queensland Branch President, and Chair of the Inorganic Division, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. His current research covers clean technology and green chemistry, process intensification, nanotechnology and self-assembly, and is currently on the editorial advisory editorial boards of the journals Green Chemistry and RSC Advances (Royal Society of Chemistry), and on the editorial board of Crystal Growth and Design (American Chemical Society).
  • BSc (Hons) The University of Western Australia
  • PhD The University of Western Australia
  • DSc Griffith University
Honours, awards and grants


  • Australian Research Council (ARC) Senior Research Fellowship (1993 and 1998)
  • Burrows Award Inorganic Division Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) (1994)
  • Citation Queensland Branch RACI (1994)
  • HG Smith Award RACI (1996)
  • Green Chemistry Challenge Award RACI (2002)
  • Pacific Northwestern Inorganic Lecturer Award (2004)
  • ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship (2005 and 2010)
  • Leighton Memorial Medal RACI (2006)
  • Living Luminary, RACI (2011)
  • South Australia Premier's Professorial Research Fellow in Clean Technology (2013)

Current and recent grants

  • ARCDiscovery, 2010-2014, C. L. Raston and F. Rosie (INRS, Montreal), 'Integrated approach to functional carbon based materials'.
  • NHMRC, L. Y. Lim and C. L.Raston, 2012-2014, ‘Phosphonatedcalixarenes for the targeted intracellular delivery of anticancer agents’.
  • ARC Linkage, C. L. Rastonand K. S. Iyer (UWA), 2012-2014, ‘Application of microfluidics in engineering functional noble-metal nano-materials’, with The Perth Mint.
  • ARC Linkage, C. L. Raston, C. Bond, S. Dunlop, K. S. Iyer (UWA), and F. Wood (Royal Perth Hospital), 2011-2013, ‘Processing pearl nacre for bio-nano-technology’, with Pearl Technologies.
  • ARC Discovery, C. L.Raston and K. Stubbs (UWA), 2013-2015 (UWA), ‘Controlling the organization of matterusing vortex fluidics’.
  • SA Premier’s ProfessorialResearch Fellow in Clean Technology, 2013-2016.
Key responsibilities
  • Research and research training, and teaching
  • Advancing clean technology
Research expertise
Inorganic chemistry
Interdisciplinary engineering
Macromolecular and materials chemistry
Organic chemistry
Research interests
Current research covers aspects of clean technology which are directed towards the major challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century - in being able to gain accessto complex functional molecules and materials for tackling energy, health andenvironmental issues. This includes: (i) The use of patented thin film microfluidics in controlling chemical reactivity and selectivity in organic and inorganic synthesis, controlling self assemble processes from small molecules to viruses, controlling kinetic versus thermodynamic metal organic frameworks (MOFs), controlling 'top down' and 'bottom up' synthesis of nano-materials, and fabricating single cell algal-graphene hybrid material for waste water treatment. (ii) Solar cell technology based on the frustules of single cell diatoms. (iii) Utilisation of biomass in developing processes and products without generating waste. (iv) Applications of the compounds and materials in (i) - (iii), for example in device technology, drug delivery and drug development, and waste water treatment.
Teaching interests
Clean technology, green chemistry, materials chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, inorganic and organometallic chemistry, spectrosopic techniques.
Topic lecturer
CHEM3702 Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry
Supervisory interests
Clean technology
Interdisciplinary engineering and technology
Local drug delivery
Organic chemistry
Solar cells
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Clean technolgy and green chemistry, materials chemistry, process intensification, microfluidics, supramolecular chemistry, drug delivery (5)
Principal supervisor: Clean technolgy and green chemistry, materials chemistry, process intensification, microfluidics, supramolecular chemistry, drug delivery, organometallic chemistry, main group chemistry (40)
Expert for media contact
Green chemistry and clean technology
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Chemistry
  • Sustainability
  • Green chemistry and clean technology
Further information
Earlier publications
  • See Scopus for C. L. Raston

Recent Patents
  • Processes for the Preparation of Phosphonated Calixarene Derivatives [Calixarene derivatives and process for the preparation thereof involving a high yielding protocol].  M. Makha, T. Clark, J. L. Atwood and C. L. Raston, US 2010/0185022. National Phase
  • Method for Coating Nano-Particles [Method of coating nano-particles using dynamic thin films, including spinning disc and rotating tube processors]. K. S. Iyer and C. L. Raston, US 2010/0166870. National Phase
  • Methods for Selectively Separating Carbon Nanotubes [Methods for selectively separating carbon nanotubes and calixarene complexes with carbon nanotubes, using phosphonated and sulfonated calixarenes]. C. L. Raston and L. J. Hubble, US 2010/0166624. National Phase
  • A Device and Methods for Fabrication and Use of Said Device [A drop casting technique is used to self-assemble material across as IDE, using an electrical response for then detecting gases]. C.L. Raston, K.S. Iyer, J. Watling, J. Zou. L.J. Hubble.  PCT/AU/2010/000958 PCT.

Cover illustration: Chem Commun 2011, 47, 9764 (pdf)

Cover illustration: Chem Commun 2012, 48, 3705 (pdf)

Cover illustration: Chem Commun 2013, 49, 1160 (jpg)

Cover illustration: Dalton Transactions 2011, 40, 10377 (pdf)

Cover illustration: Nanoscale 2012, 4, 2575 (pdf)

Cover illustration: Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 498 (jpg)

Cover illustration: Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 873 (jpg)