Richard Robson was born in Yorkshire, was awarded Oxford degrees (B.A. and D.Phil.), carried out post-doctoral research at Caltech and Stanford and then joined the Inorganic Chemistry Department at Melbourne University in 1966 where he has worked ever since.
His research, from the outset, has been based on the notion of bringing specially designed, 'pre-organised' molecular units into spontaneous reaction to produce intended, novel structures with unusual and possibly useful properties. Earlier targets (60's-90's) were discrete species such as macrocycles; later ones were 'coordination polymers' – huge networks held together by metal-to-ligand coordinate bonds. His pioneering net-based approach to the targeted construction of an unlimited range of extended networks, initiated in the 80's, provided the stimulus for the deluge of reports over the past quarter of a century dealing with coordination polymers (some under the pseudonym MOFs). This intense attention arises from the potential of these systems to provide materials with properties deliberately tailored for specific applications in diverse areas including gas sorption, enzyme-like catalysis and electronic communication throughout the network.
He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy.
Professorial Fellow, School of Chemistry, University of Melbourne
Interest and expertise
Chemistry, general, Chemistry, inorganic, Chemistry, materials