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.


Dr Hendrik Frisch
Postdoctoral Senior Research Fellow (ARC DECRA)
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Radical polymerisations play a key role in both commercial and fundamental research with it being in 45% of international polymer production at 100 million tons per year.

However, radical polymerisations still suffer from synthetic drawbacks, such as all-carbon polymer backbones, which prevent their (bio)degradability.

In this project, we'll develop novel polymers which can be programmed towards controlled degradability.

Towards this goal, you'll develop a polymerisation technique that allows to incorporate small natural building blocks (i.e. peptides) into synthetic polymers. These peptide sequences will carry the information load encoded into these polymers.

Research activities

This project will teach you the synthesis of small molecules and large polymers.


  • design functional molecular structures
  • plan a strategy for the synthesis
  • use the toolbox of organic chemistry to synthesise those novel molecules.

Subsequently, those functional molecules will be tested for their performance as monomers in radical polymerisations.


We're looking to develop novel plastics, which nature can fully degrade if they're not recycled properly and end up in the environment.

Skills and experience

Are you highly motivated to learn new skills in synthetic chemistry and keen to participate in cutting-edge science? If so, you're the perfect candidate for this project.


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

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.