Advanced Materials Research Unit

AMU banner

Research Areas

The Advanced Materials Research Unit (AMRU) of the Polymer and Advanced Materials Research Group brings together experts from organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, process engineering and polymer nanotechnology for a range of applications, including organic solar cells, quantum dots, switchable magnetic materials, particle technology, formulation engineering and safe rubber.

The AMRU applies its expertise in fundamental chemical and polymer synthetic methodologies to generate materials with pre-determined characteristics for targeted application.  Specific exemplars include the development of polymeric matrices for the incorporation of nanoparticles, synthesis of molecular, thermal and optical memories, block copolymer development for use in organic solar cells and the construction of designer polymer-peptide biomaterials. 


The AMRU is committed to working closely with local, national and international companies and research institutes/Universities. Current AMRU collaborators include Diamond Light Source, Konarka, Merck, Hereaus, AMCor. Siemens, Evonik, Robinson Brothers Ltd, Nanoco Technologies Ltd, University of Groningen and the Technical University of Vienna.

Selected Collaborations-


Financial support for the research work of the AMRU is broadly based covering regional, national and international funding agencies, including the EU, EPSRC, Royal Society and Royal Society of Chemistry.

Selected Publications

1. Chimonides, G. F., Behrendt, J. M., Chundoo, E., Bland, C., Hine, A. V., Devitt, A., Nagel, D. A., Sutherland, A. J. “Cellular uptake of ribonuclease A functionalised core–shell silica microspheres” J Mater Chem B, 2014, 2, 7307-7315 (Front cover).

2. Efremova, O. A.,  Brylev, K. A., Kozlova, O., White, M. S., Shestopalov, M. A., Kitamura, N., Mironov, Y. V., Bauer, S., Sutherland, A.J. “Polymerisable octahedral rhenium cluster complexes as precursors for photo/electroluminescent polymers” J. Mater Chem. C, 2014, 2(40), 8630-8638.

3. Isabel Fraga Domínguez, Joanna Kolomanska, Priscilla Johnston, Agnès Rivaton, Paul D. Topham.* Controlled Synthesis of Poly(neopentyl p-styrene sulfonate) via Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer Polymerisation. Polymer International (2014), DOI: 10.1002/pi.4840.

4. Anna Isakova, Paul D. Topham,* Andrew J. Sutherland. Controlled RAFT Polymerization and Zinc Binding Performance of Catechol-Inspired Homopolymers. Macromolecules (2014), 47(8), 2561-2568.

5. Abet, V., Evans, R., Guibbal, F., Caldarelli, S., Rodriguez, R. Modular construction of dynamic nucleodendrimers, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.  (2014), 53, 4862 - 4866. 

6. Evans, R, Deng, Z, Rogerson, A. K., MacLachlan, A. S., Richards, J. J., Nilsson, M, and Morris, G. A. Quantitative Interpretation of Diffusion-Ordered NMR Spectra: Can We Rationalize Small Molecule Diffusion Coefficients?, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2013) 52 3199 – 3202. 

7. Liu, S., Leaper, M.C. and Miles, N. Particle separation by horizontal deflection in paramagnetic fluid, Powder Technology, (2014) Vol 267(11) 26-38.

8. Liu, S., Leaper, M.C. and Miles, N. Vertical flotation of particles in a paramagnetic fluid, Powder Technology, (2014) Vol 261(10) 71-77.

9. Liu, S., Xiang, Y., Leaper, M.C., Miles, N.J. Horizontal deflection of single particle in a paramagnetic fluid, European Physical Journal (Part E), (2014) Vol 37 (6) 47-52.

Research Leaders

Dr Andrew J. Sutherland

Dr Paul D. Topham

Dr Petra J. Van Koningsbruggen

Dr Mark Leaper

Dr Rob Evans

Dr Qingchun Yuan

Contact Details

a.j.sutherland@aston.ac.uk (+44 (0)121 204 3425)

p.d.topham@aston.ac.uk (+44 (0)121 204 3413)

p.vankoningsbruggen@aston.ac.uk (+44 (0)121 204 3917)

m.leaper@aston.ac.uk (+44 (0)121 204 3545)

r.evans2@aston.ac.uk (+44 (0)121 204 5382)

q.yuan@aston.ac.uk (+44 (0)121 204 3385)

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