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14th February 2024

Signature Series - Professor Steve Armes FRS presents on 'Polymerisation-induced self-assembly (PISA): a powerful platform technology for bespoke polymer nanoparticles'

Presentation Title: Polymerisation-induced self-assembly (PISA): a powerful platform technology for bespoke polymer nanoparticles

Presented by: Professor Steve Armes FRS, Firth Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Sheffield, Brook Hill, Sheffield, Yorkshire, S3 7HFUK

We suggest you listen on full volume — this event was a recorded hybrid in-person and online presentation. Our apologies: volume is quite low.

Presentation Abstract: Polymerisation-induced self-assembly (PISA) is a powerful and versatile technique for the rational synthesis of concentrated dispersions of block copolymer nano-objects of controllable size, shape and surface chemistry. In essence, an insoluble block is grown from one end of a soluble block in a suitable solvent. Once the growing block reaches a certain critical degree of polymerisation, micellar nucleation occurs and the soluble block then acts as a steric stabiliser. Unreacted monomer diffuses into the copolymer cores, which leads to a relatively high local concentration and hence a significant rate acceleration. Depending on the target diblock copolymer composition, the final copolymer morphology can be spheres, worms or vesicles. The design rules for PISA are generic: such syntheses may be conducted in water, polar solvents or non-polar solvents using reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerisation. Over the past decade, PISA has become established as a highly versatile platform technology for the rational design of bespoke polymer colloids. Various examples of PISA formulations and their potential applications will be discussed in this lecture.

Biography: Prof. Steve Armes graduated from the University of Bristol (BSc 1983, PhD 1987). He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory for two years (19871989) and then accepted a lectureship at Sussex University. He was promoted to Professor in 2000 and moved to U. Sheffield in 2004. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014. Steve has published 725 papers (H‑index 128; > 49,750 citations). His research interests include polymerisation-induced self-assembly, water-soluble polymers, block copolymer self-assembly, Pickering (nano)emulsions, gels, foams, colloidal nanocomposite particles, polymer brushes, and designing synthetic mimics for cosmic dust particles.

He has received numerous awards and prizes, including six RSC medals, a Royal Society medal and the 2016 DSM Materials Science Prize