Brown group

Brown group

Nano-diamonds attached to a bio-molecule

Research Interests

In recent years, nanodiamonds (< 100nm in size) have emerged from primarily an industrial and mechanical applications base, to potentially underpinning sophisticated new technologies in quantum science and biology. In addition to their chemical and physical stability, nanodiamonds have color centres whose properties make them attractive bio-labels for imaging and tracking. The bright and stable photoluminescence, as well as the straightforward surface functionalisation for targeting to biological structures, has allowed us to begin to probe cellular processes down to the single-molecule scale; one of the primary goals of biomedical science and, ultimately, therapeutics.

Research in our group is focused on developing methods to process detonation nanodiamonds to use for the imaging and tracking of targeted biomolecules in complex biological systems. This includes research on the processing and characterising of small nanodiamonds with color centres (~4 to 30nm), as well as controlling and tailoring their surface chemistry, for use in biological environments and quantum nanotechnologies. We are exploring applications ranging from using nanodiamonds as superior biological markers to, potentially, developing novel bottom-up approaches for the fabrication of hybrid quantum devices that would bridge across the bio/solid-state interface.


Dr Nicole Cordina (Postdoc)
Phani Potluri (PhD)
Ishan Rastogi (PhD


Dr Thomas Volz
Dr Carlo Bradac


C. Bradac, J. M. Say, I.-D. Rastogi I.-D., T. Volz and L. J. Brown Nano-assembly of nanodiamonds by conjugation to actin filaments (In Press, 2015) Journal of Biophotonics

Geiselmann M, Juan ML, Renger J, Say JM, Brown LJ, de Abajo FJG, Koppens F, Quidant R Three-dimensional optical manipulation of a single electron spin (2013) Nature nanotechnology 8, 175-179

Say JM, Bradac C, Gaebel T, Rabeau JR, Brown LJ Processing 15-nm Nanodiamonds Containing Nitrogen-vacancy Centres for Single-molecule FRET (2012) Australian Journal of Chemistry 65, 496-503

Say JM, van Vreden C, Reilly DJ, Brown LJ, Rabeau JR, King NJ Luminescent nanodiamonds for biomedical applications (2011) Biophysical Reviews 3, 171-184

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