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 and formulation engineering.

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, 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. Linge Wang, Paul D. Topham, Oleksandr O. Mykhaylyk, Hao Yu, Anthony J. Ryan, J. Patrick A. Fairclough, Wim Bras, Self-Assembly Driven Electrospinning: The transition from fibers to intact beaded morphologies. Macromolecular Rapid Communications (2015), 36(15), 1437 - 1443.

4. Anna Isakova, Paul D. Topham, Andrew J. Sutherland. Controlled RAFT Polymerization and Zinc Binding Performance of Catechol-Inspired Homopolymers. Macromolecules (2015), 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.

Research Leaders

Dr Andrew J. Sutherland

Dr Paul D. Topham

Dr Petra J. van Koningsbruggen

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)

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

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

Excellent Different Distinctive