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Below is a list of some of the research conducted in our group, with links to more information on each topic.

Research Themes
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Surface-Adsorbed Micelles

Surface-adsorbed micelles can be turned inside-out by switching the solution pH, leading to the formation of localised polymer brushes.
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Surface Polymerisations via ATRP

Cationic macro-initiators have been designed to adsorb onto both colloidal and planar substrates in order to carry out surface polymerisations of various hydrophilic methacrylates via ATRP.
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Shell Cross-Linked Micelles

We have been working on the synthesis of shell cross-linked (SCL) micelles since 1998. These nanoparticles are more robust than conventional polymer micelles: covalent stabilisation allows SCL micelles to exist at infinite dilution, whereas normal micelles dissociate below their critical micelle concentration (CMC).
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Organic/Inorganic Hybrid Nanocomposite Particles

A range of colloidal polymer-silica nanocomposites can be formed by carrying out the in situ (co)polymerisation of various vinyl monomers in the presence of an ultrafine silica sol.
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Sterically-Stabilised pH-Responsive Microgels

In a project sponsored by Rohm and Haas (France), several classes of sterically-stabilised pH-responsive microgel particles have been prepared via emulsion polymerisation.
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One-Pot Synthesis and Self-assembly of Amphiphilic Block Copolymers

Reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer polymerization has been utilized to polymerize 2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate (HPMA) using a water-soluble macromolecular chain transfer agent. Formation of the hydrophobic PHPMA block drives in situ self-assembly to form well-defined diblock copolymer spheres, worms, or vesicles.
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Stimuli Responsive Colloidal Particles as Particulate Emulsifiers

With the aid of a joint EPSRC grant with Prof. B. P. Binks at U. Hull, we have designed, synthesised and evaluated several new classes of so-called 'Pickering' emulsifiers for the preparation of emulsions.
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Controlled-Structure Water-Soluble Polymers

We have recently developed the use of atom transfer radical polymerisation (ATRP) in aqueous or alcoholic media for the controlled radical polymerisation of a wide range of hydrophilic methacrylates.
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Conducting Polymer-Coated Latexes

Various conducting polymers can be deposited as an ultrathin overlayer onto pre-formed polystyrene latex particles in aqueous solution.
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Other Collaborations

In addition to the named collaborators in the above research themes, we have a number of fruitful informal collaborations with various research groups worldwide.
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Branched Polymers via Living Polymerisation Chemistry

We have recently explored the 'Sherrington' approach to branched copolymers in the context of living polymerisation chemistry. Fundamental differences between living and non-living polymerisations have been identified.
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Block Copolymer Micelles, 'Schizophrenic' Diblock Copolymers and Novel Polymeric Surfactants

Since 1996 we have synthesised a wide range of hydrophilic-hydrophilic diblock copolymers using various chemistries (group transfer polymerisation, living cationic polymerisation; nitroxide-mediated polymerisation and atom transfer radical polymerisation).
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Controlled-Structure Biocompatible Block Copolymers

With the aid of a joint BBSRC grant with Prof. A. W. Lloyds' group at the University of Brighton, and in collaboration with Biocompatibles, a UK-based healthcare company, we have exploited ATRP to prepare new biocompatible block copolymers using a commercially available, phosphorylcholine-based biomimetic monomer, MPC.
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