The Peeks group employs rational molecular design to build new materials, with a focus on exploring supramolecular and macromolecular chemistry towards sensing and light-harvesting applications. Scroll through this page to learn more!

We are based in the School of Chemistry at UNSW Sydney.


Molecular electronics



Self-assembly fundamentals

Nature is an expert at self-assembly. Your body, as a whole, is a complex compartmentalised system of molecules, reactions, and replicators, all underpinned by self-assembly and supramolecular chemistry.

Faraday rotation in organic materials

All matter exhibits a Faraday effect: the polarisation of light as it passes through a material changes proportional to the strength of an external magnetic field.

Aromaticity and antiaromaticity

Aromatic molecules are cyclic and pi-conjugated, and exhibit some interesting effects. Most well-known nowadays is the behaviour of aromatic molecules in a magnetic field: in an NMR spectrometer, we see that the chemical shifts of protons inside and outside the ring are anamolously (de)shielded.

Our skills

Organic synthesis

Computational chemistry


Data analysis

Open data, open code

Global collaboration

Meet the Team



Bethany Hillier

PhD Student (2021-); Honours Student (2020-2021); Undergraduate researcher (2019)

Synthesis of cross-conjugated molecules


David Bradley

PhD Student (2020-)

Synthesis, properties, and supramolecular chemistry of antiaromatic molecules


Martin Peeks

Scientia Lecturer

Molecular electronics, Aromaticity, Supramolecular and systems chemistry


Nick Lynch

Honours Student (2021)

Synthesis of functionalised antiaromatic compounds


Stephen Bortolussi

PhD student (2021-); Honours Student (2020)

Synthesis and properties of liquid crystalline materials



Callum Branley

Summer Vacation Research Student (2020)

Computational chemistry of pi-conjugated molecules


Carmen Zhou

CHEM2999 project student (2020)

Synthesis of porphyrins


Dexter Gordon

Honours Student (2020-21)

Synthesis and properties of molecular wires


Holly Hollomon

Undergraduate project student (2020)

Synthesis of porphyrins

Recent Publications

Large Faraday Rotation in Optical-Quality Phthalocyanine and Porphyrin Thin Films

The magneto-optical phenomenon known as Faraday rotation involves the rotation of plane-polarized light as it passes through an optical …

Global aromaticity at the nanoscale

Does aromaticity have a size limit? Evidence is presented for global aromaticity in porphyrin nanorings with circuits of up to 162 …

Mechanisms of IR amplification in radical cation polarons

Break down of the Born–Oppenheimer approximation is caused by mixing of electronic and vibrational transitions in the radical cations …

Time-Resolved Structural Dynamics of Extended π-Electron Porphyrin Nanoring

The design of molecular structures inspired by naturally occuring light harvesting systems has been intensely pursued over the last …

Probing the orientation of porphyrin oligomers in a liquid crystal solvent – a triplet state electron paramagnetic resonance study

Linear porphyrin oligomers have found various applications as synthetic molecular wires in the context of light harvesting, solar …