Study level

  • PhD
  • Master of Philosophy
  • Honours
  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President (Research)
Division / Faculty
Academic Division
Dr Laura Delafresnaye Broqua
Senior Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Academic Division


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 stabilizers. 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

  • Organic synthesis
  • Particle synthesis
  • Macromolecular synthesis
  • Photochemistry
  • Soft matter materials science
  • Advanced functional materials


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

Skills and experience

  • Strong interest in soft matter materials science
  • Strong skills in organic synthesis
  • Strong interest in multidisciplinary work between physics, chemistry and biology
  • Willingness to collaborate internationally


You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.

Explore our research scholarships



Contact Dr Laura Delafresnaye for more information.