Three papers in top journals for Sheffield graduate

VesiclesA University of Sheffield chemistry researcher has published three new studies on polymer chemistry and biomineralization in high-impact journals.

Dr Yin Ning, came from China to study chemistry at the University of Sheffield. After studying Pickering emulsions during his masters year, he applied for a PhD with Professor Steve Armes, funded by the Guangzhou Elite Program, as their research interests overlapped.

He said: "I started my PhD with Professor Steve Armes in 2013, followed by a postdoctoral position since 2017. In the past five years or so, I have worked intensively in an emerging and highly interdisciplinary research field.

"The funny thing is, I have not done anything about Pickering emulsions since I came to Sheffield! Nevertheless, I am very happy with my current research area, which is a highly novel and emerging field that combines polymer chemistry, bio-inspired crystallisation and materials science."

Yin has now had work published in Angewandte Chemie and the Journal of the American Chemical Society. He said: "In our two recently published JACS papers,1,2 we precisely designed a range of copolymer nanoparticles via RAFT-mediated polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA).

"We then systematically investigated how stabilizer chain length of the nanoparticles affects the extent of occlusion and what parameter dictates the type of nanoparticle occlusion within calcite crystals, respectively. The latter case was not properly understood for more than a decade.

"In the Angewandte Chemie paper,3 we surprisingly found that non-ionic poly(glycerol monomethacrylate) homopolymer stabilized gold nanoparticles can be efficiently incorporated into semiconductor ZnO. Moreover, spatial distribution of these nanoparticles within the ZnO can be controlled.

"This work enhances our understanding on biomineralization and offers important design rules for the efficient occlusion of nanoparticles within inorganic crystals, which provides a straightforward way to the synthesis of a wide range of functional nanocomposites."

Read the papers:

  1. Ning, Y., Han, L., Derry, M. J., Meldrum, F. C. and Armes, S. P. (2019) J. Am. Chem. Soc. 141(6), doi: 10.1021/jacs.8b12507
  2. Ning, Y., Han, L., Douverne, M., Penfold, N. J. W., Derry, M. J., Meldrum, F. C. and Armes, S. P. (2019) J. Am. Chem. Soc., 141(6), doi: 10.1021/jacs.8b12291
  3. Ning, Y., Fielding, L. A., Nutter, J., Kulak, A. N., Meldrum. F. C., and Armes, S. P. (2019) Angew. Chem. 58(13), 4302-4307.