Study level


Master of Philosophy


Vacation research experience scheme


Science and Engineering Faculty

School of Chemistry and Physics

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Innovation)
Division / Faculty
Division of Research and Innovation


Polymer particles are a billion-dollar industry with a diverse range of applications from biomedical to industrial coatings.

As a prime example, point-of-care testing devices rely on polymeric particles with various size and functionality to conveniently allow instantaneous, selective, and precise diagnostics.

However, as new applications arise and current applications advance, these demand the preparation of increasingly complex material and particle systems.

The Soft Matter Materials Team has developed a simple method to form uniform particles without any additives, initiators or stabilisers.

The ambient temperature and spatiotemporal control afforded by photo-activation maximises control but also minimises undesirable degradation and side reactions.

In addition, the system is highly tunable. Various chemical functionalities and particle size can be obtained by playing with parameters such as the solvent system and irradiation intensity.

Research activities

In this research project, you'll be involved with:

  • organic synthesis
  • macromolecular synthesis
  • photochemistry
  • soft matter materials science
  • particle synthesis
  • advanced functional materials.

You’ll be working with Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik as part of your research. Professor Barner-Kowollik is an ARC Laurette Fellow and a member of QUT’s Centre for Materials Science and School of Chemistry and Physics.


In this project, different photoactive monomers as well dienophiles will be investigated to provide a toolbox to construct complex particle systems for advanced applications.

Skills and experience

To be considered for this project, you should demonstrate strong skills in organic synthesis as well as a strong interest in:

  • soft matter materials science
  • advanced manufacturing
  • multidisciplinary work between physics, chemistry and biology.

You must also be willing to collaborate internationally.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.