Professor Vincent Craig

ANU College of Science
T: +61 2 6125 3359

Areas of expertise

  • Soft Condensed Matter 020405
  • Colloid And Surface Chemistry 030603
  • Surfaces And Structural Properties Of Condensed Matter 020406
  • Physical Chemistry Of Materials 030304
  • Physical Chemistry (Incl. Structural) 0306

Research interests

Specific Ion effects (including Hofmeister effects)

Electrolyte Solutions

       -Bubble Coalescence

        -Surface tension

Surfactant and Polymer Adsorption: Kinetics and Surface Excess

      -Influence of additives

Surface Force Measurements

      -Measurements between novel metal oxide surfaces

      - Hydrophobic Forces

      - DLVO and Non-DLVO forces


      - Both surface and bulk nanobubbles

      - Bubble Lifetimes

      - Contact Angle Anomaly

Atomic Force Microscopy

       - Force Measurements

       - Imaging

Quartz Crytal Microbalance

Optical Reflectometry

Foaming (including Beer)


Professor Vincent Craig completed both his B.Sc. (Honours in Chemistry, 1993) and Ph.D. degrees (Reasearch School of Physics, 1997) at the ANU before postdoctoral positions at UC Davis, California and the University of Newcastle, NSW. He was awarded an ARC Postdoctoral fellowship in 1998 and an ARC Research Fellowship in 2001 and is currently on an ARC Future Fellowship. He was formerly the Head of the Department from Jan 2009-Jan 2012.
His research interests include the direct measurement of surface forces - both quasistatic and dynamic, interfacial adsorption of surfactants and polymers, surface and bulk nanobubbles, controlled wetting, specific ion effects and bubble coalescence in electrolyte solutions. He has considerable experience in the development of scientific instrumentation.

He has published over 120 fully referees journal papers which have been cited over 9000 times for a H factor of 46.


Available student projects

PhD Scholarship, Australian National University, Canberra Australia

 Location: ANU, Canberra

Stipend: $28092 pa for up to 3.5 years (indexed every year by 2-3%)

 We are seeking a PhD student with the equivalent of a First Class Honours or Master’s degree in physical chemistry, physics or an equivalent discipline to participate in an Australian Research Council Discovery Project on unravelling the dominant drivers of ion specificity.


This exciting PhD project involves collaboration between teams in the Research School of Physics at the ANU, The University of Newcastle and Flinders University. The student will have a unique opportunity to contribute towards new knowledge in the fields of colloid and interface science and soft condensed matter. In particular they will participate in an experimental program to better understand the fundamentals of ion specific effects, in particular how ions partition at interfaces. Ion specific effects are ubiquitous in soft matter systems including biology and in a diverse range of industry relevant and commercial fluids so improved fundamental understanding will have wide impact. 

  • About you
    To be successful in the role, you will have:
    • Bachelor Honours (First Class) or Master’s degree in Physical Chemistry,  Physics, Engineering or equivalent. 

How to apply and further information

Applicants should email Professor Vincent Craig directly at, to express interest. In your email include a cover letter of no more than 1 page expressing your motivation to apply for this position, your CV and a copy of your academic transcripts with all subjects studied and grades obtained.


ANU values diversity and inclusion and is committed to providing equal opportunities to those of all backgrounds and identities. 


Applications will be held open until the position is filled.


Current student projects

*Surface Force measurement between novel surfaces

Produce novel model surfaces for colloidal studies and investigate the surface forces between these surfaces using an Atomic Force Microscope. These measurements of the forces that govern self assembly and colloidal stability, will improve our fundamental understanding of a host of systems from biology to minerals processing



Investigate the mysterious properties of nanobubbles in order to better utilise them in medicine and cleaning applications 


* Specific Ion effects

A great array of technological and biological processes take place in solution. Many of these processes depend on the precise nature of the salt present in solution, not just the charge on the constituent ions. This ion-specificity is inherently important, but extremely challenging to predict. This hampers progress in a wide variety of fields from battery technology to enzymatic function. Having recently discovered the fundamental ion specific series from which all ion specificity arises. We are developing a new path to understanding ion specificity through identification of patterns of perturbations affected by surfaces and solvents, and elucidation of the precise parameters that govern these patterns and perturbations.



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Updated:  05 March 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers