The broad areas in which the Group works are summarised below. Further information can be seen in our current Project Descriptions or on individual staff pages.
Our research involves liquids, gels, glasses, polymers, emulsions and colloidal suspensions. We are interested both in equilibrium and non-equilibrium phenomena in a wide array of materials both of fundamental and practical importance.
Supercooled, glassy and crystalline states
Experiments on molecular and macromolecular glass-formation, crystallisation and morphology. Molecular dynamics and structure in complex systems. The effects of H-bonding in liquids and polymers.
Electrical Properties of Polymers
Ionically conductive polymers and polymer electrolyte gels; piezoelectric, pyroelectric and electrostrictive polymers; electroactive gels; dielectric relaxation.
Gels and Networks
Polyacrylamide and polyelectrolyte gels; rheology and dynamics under external fields; diffusion of small molecules in polymers and barrier properties; phenomena of critical gelation; deformation and orientation in networks.
All cellulose composites, making plastics from waste and sustainable sources. Single Polymer Composites and multi-phase materials. Structure property investigations of polymer composites. Single polymer composites by hot compaction. Elastic and viscoelastic properties of short fibre composites.
Macromolecular Dynamics. Theory, simulation and experiment on entangled dynamics and rheology; local dynamics in blends and heterogeneous fluids and at high pressure; dynamics of hyperbranched molecules and dendrimers; local modes in glassy polymers; molecular dynamics and predictive polymer processing, interpretation of neutron scattering for polymer dynamics.
Transforming Cellulose Processing
Cellulose is the most common organic compound on Earth, about 33% of all plant matter is cellulose. For example, the cellulose content of cotton is 90% and that of wood is 40–50%. For industrial use, cellulose is mainly obtained from wood pulp and cotton...