Materials Chemistry

Research in the Materials Chemistry Group spans broad areas of polymer chemistry, surface chemistry, and solid-state inorganic chemistry. Fields of particular importance include materials for sustainable energy applications; especially ionic polymer membranes for fuel cells and hydrogen production, and thermoelectric inorganic materials for recovering energy from waste heat. The Group is also prominent in the development of polymers and nanocomposites that can self-heal in response to mechanical damage, and also in the synthesis and structural analysis of inorganic networks that show negative thermal expansion effects. Other recent discoveries include novel mechanisms for reading sequence-information in synthetic copolymers, through sequence-selective binding of small molecules to polymer chains, and new hydrogel materials for removing toxic materials such as dyestuff residues from drinking water. Work in surface science focuses on the adsorption and surface-structure of organic and inorganic molecules using techniques such as LEED, XPS, NEXAFS and STM. These experimental studies are supported by computational analysis of solid-state materials and their surface chemistry.




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