We are based in the Polymer and Biomaterials Chemistry Laboratories in the Department of Chemistry. The floor is dedicated to polymer synthesis and analysis and is shared with the group of Prof. Steve Armes.

Specific facilities in our lab and the surrounding Department can be found in the sections below.


Fume hoods

As a group we have 6 large (~2 metre) fume hoods dedicated to synthesis. Each hood is with integrated high purity nitrogen gas, "house" vacuum and water supplies. All fumehoods are equipped with nitrogen manifolds or dual manifold "Schlenk" lines.

Hotplates, stirrers and homogenisers

We have a large number of hotplate stirrers suitable for standard synthetic applications, basic stirrers for dialysis, overhead stirrers, and a high speed homogeniser for emulsion work.


Thermo Megafuge 8 with rotors, buckets and adapters suitable for 2, 15 and 50 mL tubes and a mySPIN 6 Centrifuge suitable for all microtubes (<2 mL). Used for sedimentation of polymers/particles during purification.

Freeze dryer

Frozen In Time - Mini Lablyo used for drying aqueous polymer solutions/dispersions prior to analysis or further use. Equipped with a manifold suitable for up to 8 flasks or connection to a vacuum desiccator for small volume samples.

Liquid handling

We have a number of peristalic and syringe pumps suitable for controlled reagent feeds or other applications where flow is required. We also have a range of tangential flow filtration apparatus for litre scale purification of aqueous polymers solutions/dispersions.

Glassware and other sundries

We maintain a large stock of glassware including rotavap, and jacketed and flanged reactors suitable for reactions 1-2 L in scale. We also have a range of heating blocks, waterbaths and pellets allowing all reactions to be performed without the need for messy and dangerous oil baths. We have a range of balances suitable for analytical and preparative work.


Gel Permeation Chromatography

We have two GPCs in the group. An Agilent 1260 series equipped with autosampler, refractive index (RI) and viscometry detectors (DMF eluent), and an Agilent GPC50 Plus equipped with RI detection (THF eluent). Further GPC instruments, including other eluents are available in the Department.

Dynamic light scattering and zeta potential

Brookhaven NanoBrook Omni capable of dynamic light scattering at a range of angles (15, 90 and 175°), and zeta potential measurements via PALS or ELS. It is also equipped with a titrator, allowing the affect of pH etc. on size/zeta potential to be monitored.

Melting point apparatus

Our Stuart SMP50 Automatic Melting Point apparatus utilises image analysis to determine whether a sample is solid or liquid. We use this feature to determine cloud points of thermoresponsive polymers.

General analytical equipment

We are also equipped with standard analytical equipment including a pH meter, UV lamps for TLC visualisation, and a moisture analyser for monitored heterogenous polymerisations.

Within the Department

We also have access to a large range of synthetic and analytical equipment within the Department including a range of NMR spectrometers, HPLCs and GCs, mass spectrometers, UV and fluorescence spectrophotometers, rheometers and our world-leading small angle X-ray scattering facility.