Professor Ian Gentle

Deputy Exec Dean and Assoc Dean (R)

Faculty of Science


School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Faculty of Science
+61 7 334 64128
+61 7 336 54800


My research is based on things that happen at the interface between two or more phases.

The interfacial region is extremely important for processes as diverse as catalytic reactions in industry and breathing in mammals.

Examples of specific areas of interest are:

  • Thin films of functional materials - using methods such as self-assembly or the Langmuir Blodgett method, it is possible to deposit films as thin as one molecular layer. By inserting materials with useful properties into the layers, we can make films with desirable qualities. Projects we are currently undertaking include the use of porphyrins for electronic and optical properties, and the use of dendrimers for films which can sense metal ions in solution.
  • Protein/lipid interactions in lung surfactant - the process of breathing requires the presence of lung surfactant at the air/water interface that exists in the air spaces of the alveoli. Premature infants do not have surfactant, leading to Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS), which is fatal if not treated. The action of lung surfactant, which is a complex mixture of lipids and proteins, is poorly understood, and so attempts to develop good treatments for RDS are hampered. We are using peptide synthesis and expression methods to study the crucial interactions between the major proteins and other components of lung surfactant.
  • Studying ultra thin films is difficult, and sophisticated methods need to be used. We routinely use advanced X-ray and neutron methods, and have developed new ways to use synchrotron light in the detailed investigation of films and interfacial processes.


  • Bachelor of Science (Honours 1), The University of Sydney
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Sydney


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Featured Publications


Book Chapter

  • Mostert, A. B., Meredith, P., Powell, B. J., Gentle, I. R., Hanson, G. R and Pratt, F. L. (2016). Understanding melanin: A nano-based material for the future. In Deborah Kane, Adam Micolich and Peter Roger (Ed.), Nanomaterials: science and applications (pp. 175-202) Boca Raton, FL, United States: Pan Stanford. doi:10.1201/b20041-6

  • Yu, Aimin, Gentle, Ian R. and Lu, Gao Qing (2010). Preparation and application of bio-inspired colloidal systems. In Yong Zhou (Ed.), Bio-inspired nanomaterials and nanotechnology (pp. 245-261) New York, United States: Nova Biomedical Books.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Meredith, P., Mostert, B., Gentle, I. R., Hanson, G., Tandy, K., Namdas, E., Pratt, F. and Powell, B. J. (2011). Is melanin a semiconductor: The mysteries of electrical conduction and melanin bioelectronics?. In: Abstracts. XXIst International Pigment Cell Conference (IPCC): "Skin and Other Pigment Cells: Bridging Clinical Medicine and Science". ipcc2011: International Pigment Cell Conference. Skin and Other Pigment Cells: Bridging Clinical Medicine and Science, Bordeaux, France, (780-780). 20-24 September 2011. doi:10.1111/j.1755-148X.2011.00885.x

  • Lee, Kwan H., Schwenn, Paul E., Smith, Arthur R. G., Cavaye, Hamish, Shaw, Paul E., James, Michael, Krueger, Karsten B., Gentle, Ian R., Meredith, Paul and Burn, Paul L. (2011). Vertical morphology in solution-processed organic solar cells. In: Quantum Electronics Conference & Lasers and electro-optics (CLEO/IQEC/Pacific Rim), 2011 : incorporating the Australasian Conference on Optics, Lasers and Spectroscopy and the Australian Conference on Optical Fibre Technology. International Quantum Electronics Conference, IQEC 2011 and Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, CLEO Pacific Rim 2011, Sydney, NSW Australia, (1130-1132). 28 August - 1 September 2011. doi:10.1109/IQEC-CLEO.2011.6194096

  • Ramli, S, Ross, BP and Gentle, IR (2009). Formulation and physical characterization of microemulsions containing isotretinoin. In: ICBPE 2009 : 2nd International Conference on Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Engineering: Conference proceedings. International Conference on Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Engineering, Singapore, Republic of Singapore, (129-135). 2-4 December 2009. doi:10.1109/ICBPE.2009.5384088

  • Yu, A. M., Liu, S. M., Lu, G. Q. and Gentle, I. R. (2009). Hybrid nanocomposite colloidal crystals via in-situ synthesis of nanoparticles within polyelectrolyte shell. In: 6th International Conference on Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing, China, (1330-1332). 4- 6 June 2007. doi:10.1166/jnn.2009.C149

  • Kirby, N., Boldeman, J. W., Gentle, I. and Cookson, D. (2007). Conceptual design of the small angle scattering beamline at the Australian Synchrotron. In: Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation. 9th International Conference on Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation (SRI 2006), Daegu, South Korea, (887-889). 28 May - 2 June 2006. doi:10.1063/1.2436203

  • Baldwin, K., Bell, C. A., Blakey, I., Friese, M., Gentle, I., Schiller, T. L., Talbot, C. and Whittaker, A. (2006). SANS of four-layer polyelectroyte nanoparticles assembled using layer-by-layer deposition. In: Australian Polymer Symposium (APS), Rotorua, New Zealand, (). 5-9 February 2006.

  • Baldwin, K., Gentle, I., Friese, M., Talbot, C. and Whittaker, A. (2005). Hyperpolarised 129Xenon NMR for Surface Analysis. In: Proceedings Pacifichem 2005. 2005 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies (Pacifichem 2005), Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, (). 15-20 December, 2005.

  • Baldwin, K., Gentle, I., Friese, M., Talbot, C. and Whittaker, A. (2004). Hyperpolarised 129Xenon NMR for biomaterial surface analysis. In: David lewis, 27th Australian Polymer Symposium, The University of Adelaide, (). 28 November - 2 December 2004.

  • Liu, Y., Yan, Z. F., Lu, M.G., Wood, B. J. and Gentle, I. R. (2003). XPS study of Cu-Ga2O3/ZrO2 catalyst for methanol synthesis. In: C. Li, 3rd Asia-Pacific Congress on Catalysis, Dalian, China, (672-673). 12-15 October, 2003.

  • Gentle, I. R. (2002). Synchrotron X-ray methods in studies of thin organic film structure. In: Australian X-ray Analytical Association Meeting. Australian X-ray Analytical Association Meeting, Newcastle, NSW, ((Abstract)). February, 2002.

  • Tran, M. L., Gentle, I. R. and Gahan, L. R. (1999). Tailoring selective surfaces for metal ion uptake. In: Programme and Abstracts of 21st Australian Colloid and Surface Chemistry Student Conference. 21st Australian Colloid and Surface Chemistry Student Conference, Morpeth, NSW, (67). 27 September - 1 October 1999.

  • Gentle, I. R. (1999). The Australian synchrotron program in chemical research. In: Abstracts, Workshop on the Applications of Synchrotron Radiation to Chemical and Material Sciences. Workshop on the Applications of Synchrotron Radiation to Chemical and Material Sciences, Chicago, USA, (5). 29 - 30 June 1999.

  • Fong, C., Lawrie, G. A. and Gentle, I. R. (1999). The application of small angle scattering to Bowen Basin coal macerals. In: Symposium Handbook of Joint AINSE-ANU Symposium on Small Angle Scattering and Reflectivity. Joint AINSE-ANU Symposium on Small Angle Scattering and Reflectivity, Lucas Heights, NSW, (20). 30 September - 1 October 1999.

  • Foran, Garry J., Garrett, Richard F., Gentle, Ian R., Creagh, Dudley C., Peng, Jian Bang and Barnes, Geoffrey T. (1998). Focusing monochromator and imaging-plate camera for grazing-incidence diffraction studies of thin films. In: Journal of Synchrotron Radiation. 6th International Conference on Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation (SRI'97), Himeji Japan, (500-502). Aug 04-08, 1997. doi:10.1107/S0909049597017287

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision