Project Leader - diamond encapsulation
Bionic Vision Australia
Professor of Physics at the University of Melbourne, Professor Prawer is the inaugural head of the Melbourne Materials Institute (MMI), a multidisciplinary research initiative dedicated to using advanced materials science and technology to address problems of global importance. Solving the materials-related problems for the design and encapsulation of high-density stimulation electrodes for retinal prosthesis is a flagship project of the MMI.
Professor Prawer has developed the technology for the fabrication of practical, diamond-based quantum devices, such as single-photon sources for secure communications, room-temperature read-out for spintronics, and platforms for devices that exploit entanglement in the solid state for quantum-computing applications. Some of these devices have already been fabricated, and are finding their way to the market.
In 2005, together with Dr Shane Huntington, Professor Prawer established Quantum Communications Victoria, which is dedicated to prototyping quantum devices based on diamond for quantum-key distribution.
From 2000 to 2002, Professor Prawer was the inaugural director of the Melbourne node of the Special Research Centre for Quantum Computer Technology, and now directs a program to build a hybrid optical–solid-state quantum computer, based on colour centres in diamond.
Over his career, Professor Prawer has been awarded over $20M in research and infrastructure funding. He has been appointed to the editorial board of Diamond and Related Materials and to the Australian Institute of Physics as a Youth Lecturer. He has been awarded the Lady Davis Visiting Professorship, a Doctorate of Science based on published works, the David Syme Research Prize, a Fulbright Senior Visiting Fellowship, and a visiting fellowship at Wolfson College, Oxford. In 2008, he was awarded the Royal Society of Victoria Research medal in recognition of his seminal contribution to Australian diamond science and technology.
Professor Prawer’s prime research interests have been in the exploration of the physics of materials, with a special emphasis on the manifold aspects of carbon, diamond and related materials.
Contribution to bionic eye project
Professor Prawer’s contribution to the bionic eye project is to fabricate, test and optimise the electrode array for the high-acuity stimulator; integrate the electrode array with the wireless control chip; and to devise and test, methods for the hermetic encapsulation of the integrated device.
Professor Prawer brings to the bionic-eye project diamond-synthesis and processing techniques, which will be used in the fabrication of all-diamond high-density electrode arrays. Diamond has exceptional properties as a biomaterial, in terms of biocompatibility, its ability to manipulate electrical conductivity, and the potential for its surface to be functionalised.
BSc (Monash), DSc (Monash), PhD (Monash)
Professor Prawer has published over 200 reviewed papers, attracting thousands of citations, and four patents.