Professor Andrew Whittaker specialises in polymer chemistry for modern technologies such as nanotechnology, photolithography, and biomaterials science. 

Professor Andrew Whittaker's research aims to develop innovative solutions to major health and nanotechnology challenges. He is a scientific leader, having been President of the Pacific Polymer Federation, Chair of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute Polymer Division and has served on the Australian Research Council College of Experts. He is a chief investigator on the ARC Centre of Excellence in Bio-Nano Science and Technology. Professor Whittaker’s work in synthesis and characterisation of polymeric materials has underpinned major development programs in several key areas. In the field of materials for photolithography this has been supported by funding from leading semiconductor companies Intel, Sematech and the Dow Chemical Company. Outcomes include novel high-index resists for 193nm immersion lithography, new concepts for design of non-chemically amplified resists for EUV lithography, and more recently novel approaches to healing roughness in IC features. In the field of biomaterials science, Professor Whittaker is most active in developing novel imaging agents for MRI, and introduced a new class of 19F polymeric agents. He is an expert in the fundamentals of diffusion process in complex solids. He has an international reputation in the field of NMR and MRI of polymeric systems.

Professor Whittaker has been plenary, keynote or invited speaker at many international conferences including within the past three years plenary speaker at the International Conference on Innovation in Polymer Science and Technology 2013, October 2013, Yogyakarta; the 13th Pacific Polymer Conference, November 2013, Kaohsiung; Polychar 2014, April 2014, Stellenbosch; Nanomedicine 2014, July 2014, Sydney. Professor Whittaker has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the RACI Polymer Division Citation (1998), the RACI Polymer Division Polymer Science and Technology Achievement Award (2000), an ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship in 2011, the World Famous Scientists Lecturing in Hubei Project (2013), the National High-end Foreign Experts Recruitment Project of the PRC (twice, in 2013 and 2014), the Paul J. Florey Polymer Research Prize for excellence in polymer research by the Polychar World Forum (2014), and the President’s International Fellowship (Visiting Scientist) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2015).

Industry Engagement & Collaborations

  • Dow Chemical Company - Development of novel polymeric resists
  • Intel Corporation – Block copolymers for IC manufacture
  • Sematech – Numerous projects on critical components in IC manufacture
  • Anteo Diagnostics – novel approaches to surface functionalisation
  • Dairy Innovation Australia – The nano-scale structure and ageing of milk powder

Professor Whittaker is a member of numerous international committees of governing bodies in polymer science and technology, and is involved in organising major international conferences. He is past-president of the Pacific Polymer Federation and remains the national representative of the PPF. He has active collaborations with scientists at CSIRO; Monash University; Nagoya Institute of Technology (NIT), Japan; Hubei University, Shanghai University, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, China; The University of Nottingham, UK; Auckland University, NZ; and Dow Electronic Materials, US. He is currently a visiting professor at Hubei University, and has held visiting professor positions at INSA Lyon and NIT and was DICE Chair at University of Nottingham.

Key Publications

Ion-responsive 19F MRI Contrast Agents for the Detection of Cancer Cells, Cheng Zhang, Shehzahdi Shebbrin Moonshi, Hui Peng, Simon Puttick, James Reid, Stefano Bernardi, Debra J. Searles, Andrew K. Whittaker, ACS Sensors 2016, 1, 757–765.

Simon Puttick, Brett W. Stringer, Bryan W. Day, Zara C. Bruce, Kathleen S. Ensbey, Karine Mardon, Gary J. Cowin, Kristofer J. Thurecht, Andrew K. Whittaker, Michael Faye, Andrew W. Boyd and Stephen Rose, EphA2 as a Diagnostic Imaging Target in Glioblastoma:A PET/MRI Study, Molecular Imaging 2015, 14, 1535-3508.

Wang, K., Peng, H., Thurecht, K. J., Puttick, S., and Whittaker, A. K. Biodegradable Core Crosslinked Star Polymer Nanoparticles as 19F MRI Contrast Agents for Selective Imaging, Polym. Chem. 2014, 5, 1760 – 1771.

Keen, Imelda, Cheng, Han-Hao,  Yu, Anguang, Jack, Kevin S., Younkin, Todd R., Leeson, Michael J., Whittaker, Andrew K., Blakey, Idriss, Behavior of lamellar forming block copolymers under nanoconfinement: implications for topography directed self-assembly of sub-10 nm structures. Macromolecules 2014, 47, 276–283.

Chuang, Y. M., Jack, K. S., Cheng, H. H., Whittaker, A. K., and Blakey, I. Using directed self assembly of block copolymer nanostructures to modulate nanoscale surface roughness: Towards a novel lithographic process. Advanced Functional Materials 2013, 23, 173-183.

Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly (PISA) - Control over the Morphology of 19F-containing Polymeric Nano-objects for Cell Uptake and Tracking, Zhao, Wei; Ta, Hang; Zhang, Cheng; Whittaker, Andrew, Biomacromolecules (2017), 18 (4), 1145-1156.

Full list of publications available at UQ eSpace


Professor Andrew Whittaker directs research funded through more than $52 million in competitive grants since 2002.