About ISEM

The Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM) was established in 1994. It is a flagship research Institute at the University of Wollongong. It has grown to more than 150 researchers and postgraduate students. This team of researchers are recognised as world leaders in superconductors, electronic and energy materials.

ISEM has developed a dynamic, innovative research environment for its research strengths in several major areas:

  • Superconductors and Low Energy Materials;
  • Advanced Energy Materials Science and Technology;
  • Advanced Piezoelectric and Magnetic Materials;
  • Advanced Thin Film Science and Technology;
  • Advanced THz Science and Photonics;
  • Advanced Materials for Bio and Health Science.

These six main research themes are supported and enabled by ten research programs/teams. ISEM also hosts ARC or CRC funded Centres.

Our vision 

To be leaders in high impact training, research, application, collaborations and community engagement.

Our mission 

  • Identify and foster new research areas and global challenges;
  • Expand our research collaborations;
  • Continue high output/high impact publications;
  • Excel in HDR student training;
  • Promote the translation of scientific developments into technological platforms;
  • Promote our reputation in research excellence;
  • Improve our operations and governance;
  • Promote diversity and gender equity;
  • Connect with our local community.

High impact research

Our high quality team of researchers and students have led to ISEMs strong record of research publication, with more than 1350 referred papers and their publications have attracted more than 11,000 citations.

In the 2010 Australian Government Excellence in Research (ERA) ratings, the University of Wollongong was rated as 'well above world standard' in the areas of Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry (the only university outside the Group of 8 to achieve this rating) and in Interdisciplinary Engineering (one of only two ratings at this level awarded in this discipline).

ISEM has also attracted considerable research funding with researchers receiving more than $32 million in research funding over the last decade.

Strong national and international links

ISEM’s track record of high quality research has attracted strong interest from national and international partners and collaborators.

It has struck partnering or collaborative research arrangements with more than 70 companies and research institutions in Australia and throughout the world.

These collaborations are producing results with patented technology developed by ISEM, allowing the University of Wollongong to enter into one of its largest licensing deals with HyperTech Research Inc in the United States. The goal is to improve the transmission and storage of power, generating energy savings and associated environmental benefits.

Research programs

Superconductors and low energy materials

Superconductors and low energy materials for use in electrical and electronic devices such as motors, fault current limiters, transformers and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and future low energy electronics.
Coordinator: Prof Xiaolin Wang

Battery materials

Developing advanced materials for fuel cells and solar cells, and advancing rechargeable batteries for electric cars.
Coordinator: Prof Jiazhao Wang

Energy conversion materials

Developing solar cell technology to improve energy generation and help reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Coordinator: Prof Jung-Ho Kim

Battery management system

Integrated electronic and software system to intelligently manage every single battery cell in a battery pack for the purpose to extend battery life while protecting the cells from any abnormal operations.
Coordinator: Dr Khay Wai See

Piezoelectric and dielectric materials

For electromechanical applications including the ultrasound transducers and piezoelectric sensors, and energy related applications such as mechanical energy harvesting and electrostatic energy storage.
Coordinator: Prof Shujun Zhang

Multiferroic materials

Focusing on materials with independent/coexisting ferroic properties, such as ferroelectric, magnetic and ferroelastic properties,  which have applications in energy storage, harvesting and conversion, information storage and processing.
Coordinator: Prof Zhenxiang Cheng.

THz photonics and solid state physics

Developing advanced materials and structures for terahertz science and technology for applications including medicine and biology.
Coordinator: Prof Chao Zhang

Thin film technology

Coordinator: Prof Alexey Pan

Scanning tunnelling microscopy program

Our Research focuses on nanoscale physical and chemical phenomena with an emphasis on probing the fundamental properties of low-dimensional quantum matters and energy conversion/storage materials. The target is to achieve detailed descriptions of exotic behaviours in low-dimensional materials which form the basis for exploring and utilizing physical and chemical properties associated with surface and interface.
Coordinator: A/Prof Yi Du

Biomaterials for health

Design, fabrication and study of advanced biocompatible multifunctional materials and composites for various health applications including therapeutic and diagnostic (theranostic) medical applications, melanoma prevention and treatment of oxidative stress.
Coordinator: A/Prof Konstant Konstantinov


Joint centres


Coordinator: Prof William Price


Cordinator: Prof Shi Xue Dou & Prof Lei Jiang