Department of Materials


18 Mar 2019

Early Years Research

Fiona Hatton x 300

To support our early career researcher colleagues who are involved in interesting, if not highly funded, research, we are featuring funding received via the research fund from the Royal Society of Chemistry by one of our most recent academic staff additions to the School, Dr Fiona Hatton:

“Bio-based diblock copolymers from renewable resources”

The majority of commodity polymers are derived from petroleum feedstocks which is unsustainable long term. Due to increased environmental concerns there has been a societal shift towards the development of sustainable and renewable materials.

The aim of this project is to develop new bio-based copolymers from renewable resources.

Naturally-occurring polymers will be first chemically modified in order to prepare block copolymers. By tuning the chemistry of each block, the polymers can self-assemble into particles on the nanoscale. Investigation of the preparation and self-assembly of the nanoparticles will be carried out. 

It is thought that the polymeric nanoparticles will have a multitude of applications, including drug delivery, adhesives, coatings, laundry and home care applications.

The funding will be used to purchase consumables (chemicals, glassware etc.) and small pieces of equipment that are needed.

Fiona stated:

As an early career researcher, these funds are essential in getting this project off the ground. I am hoping to expand my research further in this field, so obtaining preliminary results in this area is vital for my career plans. Without the funds, I would not be able to pursue this research.”

If you are an early career researcher and you are interested in gaining funding from the Royal Society of Chemistry, please follow this link.