Dr Vladimir Golovko - People - Chemistry - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Dr Vladimir Golovko


Senior Lecturer above the bar
Associate Investigator with the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology
Associate Investigator with the Dodd-Walls Centre
Director of Research (Department of Chemistry)
Innovation Champion for Chemistry
Seminar Organiser


PhD(Cantab), MRSC

Field of Study

Inorganic/Materials Chemistry, Catalysis

Contact Details

DDI: +64 3 364 2442 (Internal 6442)
Fax: +64 3 364 2110
Email: vladimir.golovko@canterbury.ac.nz

Related Links:

The Golovko Inorganic Materials and Catalysis Research Group web pages

Dr Vladimir Golovko (UC SPARK website)


Dr Vladimir Golovko came to UC from Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK, where he did his PhD in organometallic chemistry and was then a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Professor B F G Johnson, FRS. A native of Ukraine, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and a Degree of Specialist (equivalent to an M Phil) from the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kiev, from which he also has qualifications as a teacher.

Research Interests

General Area of Research

The main focus of our research is in the field of synthesis of novel, precisely defined model catalysts and their testing in industrially relevant and environmentally important catalytical processes. The discovery of novel catalysts has been crucial to the quest to feed and heal the world’s growing population, to produce new materials and to fight pollution. The importance of catalysis is exemplified by recent awards of Nobel Prizes in Chemistry in 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2010. The University of Canterbury has historically strong links with top contributors in the field of catalysis, from our recent Erskine Fellow Professor R. H. Grubbs to our early days graduate Professor Richard Barrer (recognized by the RSC Barrer Award). As inorganic materials chemists we are interested in achieving precise control over morphology of the catalysts we are making in order to find out specific relationships between the structure of the catalyst and its performance. Importantly, key components of heterogeneous (i.e. solid) catalysts are often nanostructured. We specialize in design, precisely controlled and safe fabrication, characterization and thorough catalytic testing of novel materials spanning the size-regime from just a few atoms to hundreds of nanometres (1 nanometre = 10-9 m). Inspired by our recent success with catalyzing selective oxidation using very small gold nanoparticles (Nature 2008, 454, 981-983), we are actively undertaking systematic study of gold-containing catalysts for industrially relevant processes. Expressions of interest in research projects in this area are welcome.

Specific Research project Areas:

  • Controlled synthesis of metal (gold and mixed-metal) clusters and nanoparticles for catalysis, bio-testing and sensing.
  • Controlled synthesis of metal oxide (TiO2 etc.) nanoparticles with control over crystalline phases, size and shape for applications in (photo-)catalysis, bio-testing and sensing.
  • Catalysis using metal nanoparticles supported on multifunctional and unconventional supports.
  • Electrochemical fabrication and electro-catalysis.
Catalytic growth of carbon nanotubes for applications in sensing and device engineering.

Research Group Members

Group Photo 2012

Back, Left to right:
Back, left to right: David Anderson (PhD student), Jan-Yves Ruzicka (PhD student), Daniil Ovoshchnikov (PhD student), Nathaniel Gunby (Honours student), Vladimir Golovko, Christoffer Hoeck (visiting student, Denmark) and Prisca Fricero (visiting student, France). Front, left to right: Rohul Adnan (PhD student), Nei-Jin Ke (PhD student) Baira Donoeva (PhD student) and Faridah Abu Bakar (PhD student). Not in the photo: Campbell McNicoll (PhD student), Ghadamgahi (PhD student) and Diandree Padayachee (PhD student).

Representative Publications

  • Phone: +64 3 364 2100
    Fax: +64 3 364 2110
    Email: chemistry@canterbury.ac.nz
  • Department of Chemistry
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800, Christchurch
    New Zealand
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