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

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Biography

I obtained my Ph. D. from the University of Toronto in 1990 working with Prof. J. C. Polanyi on the detection of small molecules and the determination of their energies.   From 1990 to 1996, I worked at the University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario) building a scanning tunnelling microscope and lecturing first year chemistry.

I was appointed as a lecturer at Flinders in 1996, promoted to Senior lecturer at the start of 2000, promoted to Associate Professor in 2004 and made full Professor in June 2008.

Research Interests

Our research group is very lucky in a sense.   Our work centres around the use of a technique called scanning probe microscopy (SPM).

In simple terms, this is a relatively new form of microscope (invented in the earlier 1980s) which has the capability to see the finest detail of material (atoms).   Our ability to image atoms and molecules is among the best in the world and this has lead to many national and international collaborations and has the added bonus of seeing our group involved in many and varied research areas.

Selected Research areas:


Work with colleagues at UNSW has seen the development of a glucose biosensor.   This is important work for diabetics who must continuously monitor their glucose level to determine if they need an insulin injection.   Our sensor is much more efficient than current methods but still have the weakness of low term stability.   Our work to address this continues.

Carbon Nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes are a new form of carbon with amazing properties such as the ability to conduct electrons better that copper and strength higher than steel.   We have developed new ways to attach these nanotubes to silicon which is of great interest in areas such as

electronics, biosensors and solar cells.  We have expanded our work into the area of microfluidics and this work was done at Cambridge University.

Biological Membranes

A recent area of interest in collaboration with Prof. J. Miners has been the examination of biological membranes.   Our work has used novel scanning probe techniques which has revealed unprecedented resolution of membrane dynamics when the temperature is changed or when the membrane is exposed to a drug.

Supervised Students Successes

  • Sep 2012 Kate Moore - Playford Fellowship
  • Sep 2012 Cameron Shearer - SA Physcial Sciences Thesis of the Year
  • Sep 2012 Ben Flavel - Humboldt Fellowship
  • Sep 2012 Kate Moore - Ross Honours Scholarship
  • Sep 2012 Lachlan Larsen - Ross Honours Scholarship
  • Sep 2012 Jingxian Yu - PRC Postdoctoral Fellowship

Completed Supervisions

Principal Supervisions:
  • Nanotechnology (10)
  • Solar Cells (4)
  • Biosensors (2)
  • Membranes (2)


  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Nanotechnology

Supervisory Interests

  • Solar cells
  • Nanotechnology
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Membranes


Dive into the research topics where Joe Shapter is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or