Sub-micron moulding topological mass transport regimes in angled vortex fluidic flow
Dr Karl discusses the VFD
Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull
Greg Weiss and Colin Ralston
IG Nobel prize ceremony
Professor Colin Raston and the VFD


Welcome to the Raston Lab website. Here you will find everything from personal information on Colin and his team, to current areas of research, publications, patents and information on how to get involved.


The Raston Lab is situated in South Australia at Flinders University. We specialize in thin film flow chemistry delivering new methodology in both synthetic flow chemistry and materials chemistry. Visitors from both an academic and industrial background are welcome to get in touch.

News, videos and featured articles

Cosmos Magazine Article 

Manipulating molecules with fluids

Fresh insights on how a Vortex Fluidic Device can be used to control chemical reactions.

By Ellen Phiddian

Too read the full article  follow this link:

Recent Publications

S. Li et al., Continuous Flow Vortex Fluidic Transformation of Kombucha Cellulose into More Compact and Crystalline Fibers. 2022, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 10, 4279-4288.

M. Jellicoe et al., Vortex fluidic induced mass transfer across immiscible phases. 2022, Chemical Science 13, 3375-3385.

X. Luo et al., Magnetite Nanoparticle/Copper Phosphate Nanoflower Composites for Fenton-like Organic Dye Degradation. 2022, ACS Applied Nano Materials 5, 2875-2884.

A. B. Carey et al. Shear Stress-Mediated Growth of Cupric Phosphate Nanostructures. Crystal Growth & Design 2021, 21, 4579-4586.

T. Alharbi et al. Thin Film Mechano-Energy Induced Slicing of Carbon Nanotubes under Flow. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2021, 9 (48), 16044-16051.

T. Alharbi, M. Jellicoe, X. Lou et al., Sub-micron moulding topological mass transport regimes in angled vortex fluidic flow. 2021, Nanoscale Adv., 3, 3064-3075.

M. Jellicoe et al., High shear spheroidal topological fluid flow induced coating of polystyrene beads with C60 spicules. 2021, Chem. Commun., 57, 5638-5641.

Featured Synthetic Methodology
G. Oksdath-Mansilla et al., Azide–alkyne cycloadditions in a vortex fluidic device: enhanced “on water” effects and catalysis in flow. Chemical Communications 57, 659-662, 2021. 
S. J. Pye et al.,  Vortex Fluidic Ethenolysis, Integrating a Rapid Quench of Ruthenium Olefin Metathesis Catalysts. Australian Journal of Chemistry 73, 1138-1143, 2020.
A. Igder et al., Vortex fluidic mediated synthesis of polysulfone. RSC Advances 10, 14761-14767, 2020.
J.M Phillips et. al., Chemoselective and Continuous Flow Hydrogenation in Thin Films Using a Palladium Nanoparticle Catalyst Embedded in Cellulose Paper. ACS App. Bio Mat. 2019, 2, 1, 488-494

Featured Materials Methodology

S. Rahpeima et al., Reduced graphene oxide–silicon interface involving direct Si–O bonding as a conductive and mechanical stable ohmic contact. Chemical Communications 56, 6209-6212, 2020.

I. K. Alsulam et al., High-Yield Continuous-Flow Synthesis of Spheroidal C60@Graphene Composites as Supercapacitors. ACS Omega 4, 19279-19286, 2019. 

T. M. D. Alharbi et al. High Yielding Fabrication of Magnetically Responsive Coiled Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube under Flow. ACS Applied Nano Materials 2, 5282-5289, 2019.

K. Vimalanathan et al., Vortex fluidic mediated transformation of graphite into highly conducting graphene scrolls. Nanoscale Advances 1, 2495-2501, 2019. 

Featured Application Methodology
J. Tavakoli et al.,Vortex fluidic mediated one-step fabrication of polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel films with tunable surface morphologies and enhanced self-healing properties. Science China Materials 63, 1310-1317, 2020.
J. Tavakoli et al.,  Vortex fluidic enabling and significantly boosting light intensity of graphene oxide with aggregation induced emission luminogen. Materials Chemistry Frontiers 4, 2126-2130, 2020.
S. He et al., Vortex fluidic mediated food processing. PLOS ONE 14, e0216816, 2019.
S. He et al., Continuous flow thin film microfluidic mediated nano-encapsulation of fish oil. LWT 103, 88-93, 2019.

Recent Tweets

Scott Pye Award ISHHC18.JPG

Raston Lab awarded at ISHHC18

Photographed is Lab member Scott Pye receiving a (shared) 2nd prize, for best poster at the recent ISHHC18 (International Symposioim on Relations between Homogenous and Heterogenous Catalysis, 2018).

The presented work was on continuous flow olefin metathesis, a collaboration between the Raston Lab and Justin Chalker.

Thanks to RACI, RSC and Springer for hosting the awards.


Chemical Science Journal Cover


The recent paper by M. Jellicoe et al., "Vortex induced mass transfer across immiscible phases" is featured on the back cover in Chem. Sci. issue 12, 2022.

To see the cover and read the paper, follow this link:


Fluidic device finds novel way to make oil and water attract!


Imagine making some liquids mix that do not mix, then unmixing them.

In one of the grand challenges of science, a Flinders University device which previously ‘unboiled’ egg protein is now unravelling the mystery of incompatible fluids; a development that could enhance many future products, industrial processes and even the food we eat.

BBC News story "Machine that 'unboils' eggs may help fight cancer"


A machine that can "unboil" protein-rich egg whites, winning an Ig Nobel Prize in 2015, may also have important medical applications, its inventor says...

ABC catalyst special on the VFD, "UNBOILING AN EGG!"


Unboiling an egg’ technology leads to new discoveries in renewable energy. You can’t unboil an egg, right? Wrong! Scientists from Flinders University in SA won an Ig Nobel Prize for successfully unboiling an egg. The technology....

Increasing anti-cancer activity with thin film flow chemistry!


With ovarian cancer, we found that this technology can increase the loading of second generation anti-cancer carboplatin drugs into delivery vehicles from 17 per cent to 75 per cent. This not only would have a direct benefit of reducing the negative side-effects which affect patient health, but of being able to use less of the drug.

Chemical Communications interview with Colin


Chem Comm probe what it is that makes Colin tick and what he plans to be doing when he is 100 years old.