George Koutsantonis

Professor, BSc PhD Adel., FRACI

  • The University of Western Australia (M313), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


George Koutsantonis is a synthetic chemist with an interest in functional materials that contain metals.  He is a graduate of the University of Adelaide where he obtained his BSc(Hons) and PhD degree, the latter, under the supervision of Michael Bruce. He began his scientific life studying the coordination properties and reactions of alkynes and often returns to this fascinating area. He undertook a postdoctoral position at the University of Kentucky.  In Lexington, he continued his work with alkynes, more specifically investigating metathesis reactions with metalloalkynes.  After a fruitful period in the USA, he returned to Australia on an inaugural ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship at Griffith University in 1991. In Brisbane, still essentially an inorganic chemist, worked with Main Group hydrides of Group 13. He was appointed to the staff at the University of Western Australia in 1995 where he remains. In Perth, he established an independent research programme in organometallic and inorganic chemistry.  His work in this area was recognised by the joint award of the RACI Organometallic award in 2004


Current projects

Tuning Redox Active Metal Complexes for Molecular Rectification

This project aims to develop molecular rectifiers incorporating organometallic complexes for future electronics applications. The molecules will be an integral part of the electronic device to ameliorate the technological problems arising from miniaturisation in the semiconductor realm. Expected outcomes are a new approach to molecular designs that provide a rectifying response in single molecules and large area molecular junctions. 

Redox-active Metallomicelles

Metallosurfactants are an emerging class of materials which offer interesting alternatives to traditional “organic” surfactants due to the range of properties inherent to complexed metal ions Introduction of such a centre can impart the magnetic and electronic properties, as well as the redox and catalytic activity of the complex to the surfactant system, which of course can be concentrated at an interface, be it polar/apolar (e.g. micelles, vesicles), solid/liquid (e.g. monolayers) or liquid/gas (e.g. Langmuir-Blodgett films)

Fundamental studies of host-guest supramolecular systems

Although supramolecular chemistry is one of the most active fields of modern chemistry, very little seems to be known about the detailed nature of the host and guest systems that comprise these aggregates. Supramolecular systems – molecular aggregates – underpin the design and development of materials in areas as diverse as catalysis, targeted drug delivery, gas storage, chemical separation and nonlinear optics. They also serve as models for complex phenomena such as self-assembly and ligand-receptor binding. Projects in this area are part of a research program aimed at a greater understanding of intermolecular interactions and the properties of host-guest systems in the solid state, particularly organic clathrates and complexes formed by small molecules interacting with crown ethers, calixarenes, molecular tweezers and cages (some examples are given in the figure below). These projects will involve some synthesis, and measurement of highly accurate X-ray diffraction data, complementary neutron diffraction experiments, quantum chemical calculations and computer graphics. A particular focus of the charge density analyses will be the polarization and dipole moment of guest molecules as a function of the changing electrostatic nature of the host systems.

Teaching overview

Coordinator CHEM3003


2010-2016                   Professor (Level D)                            University of Western Australia

2009-2010                   Associate Professor                           University of Western Australia

2002-2008                   Senior Lecturer                                  University of Western Australia

1995-2002                   Lecturer                                             University of Western Australia

1991                            ARC Postdoctoral Fellow                  Griffith University

1989                            Postdoctoral Fellow                           University of Kentucky

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

Co-Editor in Chief Australian Journal of Chemistry

1 Jun 2016 → …

Research expertise keywords

  • Molecular Electronics
  • Chemistry of materials
  • Inorganic chemistry—physical, structural and preparative
  • transition metal organometallic chemistry
  • Nanoscale chemistry
  • Synthetic chemistry
  • Precursor technology for chemical vapour deposition
  • Metals in chemistry and nanochemistry
  • Calixarene chemistry


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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