Professor Andrew Slark
Department of Chemistry
Professorial Fellow in Polymer Chemistry
+44 114 222 9540
Full contact details
Department of Chemistry
13 Brook Hill
Professor Andrew Slark obtained a 1st Class BSc (Hons) in Chemistry and Polymer Science/Technology from Loughborough University in 1987 and received his PhD in Polymer Chemistry from the same institution in 1991. He has worked in UK Industrial Research & Development for over 25 years, developing expertise in synthetic polymer chemistry and physical polymer science - especially for speciality adhesives, coatings and inks applications. Initially, he joined ICI Imagedata as a Senior Research Scientist in 1990 and transferred to ICI Acrylics at Wilton in 1995.
He moved to National Starch at Slough as a Research Team Leader in 2001, becoming a Business Scientist before joining Henkel (acquisition) in 2008, working as a Specialist on Advanced Research Platforms until 2017. After spending 1 year as an Adhesive Specialist with De La Rue International in Overton, he was awarded an EPSRC Manufacturing Fellowship in 2018 and appointed as a Professorial Fellow at the University of Sheffield.
- ICI Innovation and Creativity Team Award for Product Innovation (1997).
- MacroGroup UK Younger Researcher Award (1999).
- EPSRC Manufacturing Fellowship £1.5M (2018).
- Research interests
My research interests involve creating quality knowledge which is useful and valuable via both synthetic polymer chemistry and physical polymer science. This involves understanding how polymers work by developing key structure/property relationships and using polymer chemistry to design new polymers with improved performance. Being accomplished at collaborating with other organisations, I aim to work closely with industrial partners and look to cooperate with other academic expertise both in Sheffield and beyond.
Smart Polymers with Advanced Properties
A key topic is the EPSRC Fellowship - Innovative Coatings and Adhesives for Recycling (I-CARE), investigating new technology to enable the recycling, re-use and remanufacture of valuable materials. New functional polymers will be investigated which not only target high performance in use but can also be triggered to enable recycling of materials, thereby enhancing sustainability by providing much improved environmental outcomes. The Fellowship aims to create a key body of knowledge by investigating novel polymers which are industrially scalable and correlating molecular architecture with key basic & applied physical properties.
More broadly we aim to design polymers with controllable intermolecular forces (non-covalent and covalent interactions) either within the polymer itself or by interacting with other materials in the bulk or at surfaces and interfaces. The aim is to influence and change both the dynamics and extent of structure formation in order to provide substantial improvements in performance by breaking paradigms that currently exist. Applications of particular interest include coatings, adhesives, films, elastomers and composites.
I have 25 years’ industrial experience researching & developing new polymers for specialised adhesives, coatings and inks providing major differentiation for various applications including automotive, assembly, construction, woodworking, textiles, packaging, printing and imaging. A key strength has been linking application requirements to basic material properties and polymer architectures in order to drive the development of new, valuable materials, including:
- New Polyurethanes, e.g. thermoplastics, moisture curable, UV-curable and reversible covalent networks.
- New Acrylics, e.g. branched architectures, UV-reactive acrylic resins, acrylic block copolymers and toughened cyanoacrylates.
- Critical understanding of polymer interactions, e.g. intermolecular forces, bulk morphology and key underpinning surface science.
- Reversible adhesives and debondable joints for fibre-reinforced plastics: Characteristics, capabilities, and opportunities. Materials Chemistry and Physics, 299, 127464-127464.
- Combining insights from the environmental and behavioural sciences to understand what is required to make reusable packaging mainstream. Sustainable Production and Consumption.
- Re-usable thermally reversible crosslinked adhesives from robust polyester and poly(ester urethane) Diels–Alder networks. Green Chemistry, 22(24), 8669-8679.
- Elevation of modulus and elongation of semicrystalline polyurethanes. Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, 56(18), 1265-1270.
- Enhancement of microphase ordering and mechanical properties of supramolecular hydrogen-bonded polyurethane networks. Polymer Chemistry, 9(24), 3406-3414.
- Self-assembling unsymmetrical bis-ureas. Reactive and Functional Polymers, 124, 156-161.
- A systematic study of the effect of the hard end-group composition on the microphase separation, thermal and mechanical properties of supramolecular polyurethanes. Polymer, 107, 368-378.
- Electrospun supramolecular polymer fibres. European Polymer Journal, 48(7), 1249-1255.
- Thermo-responsive microphase separated supramolecular polyurethanes. Polymer Chemistry, 1(8), 1263-1263.
- Effect of flame treatment on formulated polyvinylchloride surface: A study using ARXPS. Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena, 178-179, 409-414.
- Hydrogen Bonded Supramolecular Elastomers: Correlating Hydrogen Bonding Strength with Morphology and Rheology. Macromolecules, 43(5), 2512-2517.
- Thermally Responsive Elastomeric Supramolecular Polymers Featuring Flexible Aliphatic Hydrogen-Bonding End-Groups. Australian Journal of Chemistry, 62(8), 790-790.
- Facile bisurethane supramolecular polymers containing flexible alicyclic receptor units. Soft Matter, 5(10), 2000-2000.
- Novel Difunctional Reversible Addition Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT) Agent for the Synthesis of Telechelic and ABA Triblock Methacrylate and Acrylate Copolymers. Macromolecules, 40(7), 2318-2326.
- Thermal stability of reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer/macromolecular architecture design by interchange of xanthates chain-transfer agents. Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry, 44(24), 6980-6987.
- Alternative syntheses of linear polyurethanes using masked isocyanate monomers. Reactive and Functional Polymers, 66(11), 1284-1295.
- Synthesis and Physical Property Evaluation of a Series of Poly(N‐2‐Pyridylmethyl Methacrylamide‐ Co‐Methyl Methacrylate)s and Related Polymers. Journal of Macromolecular Science, Part B, 44(6), 941-965.
- UV-reactive Elvacite acrylic resins for property differentiation. Surface Coatings International Part A: Coatings Journal, 86(6), 221-228.
- Synthesis of Well-Defined Macromonomers by Sequential ATRP−Catalytic Chain Transfer and Copolymerization with Ethyl Acrylate. Macromolecules, 35(24), 8954-8961.
- Preparative scale synthesis of 1:1 alternating copolymers of styrene and methyl methacrylate. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 203(10-11), 1427-1435.
- Branched methacrylate copolymers from multifunctional monomers: chemical composition and physical architecture distributions. Polymer, 43(2), 245-254.
- Facile, versatile and cost effective route to branched vinyl polymers. Polymer, 41(15), 6027-6031.
- Branching in methyl methacrylate polymerizations incorporating a polymeric chain transfer agent. American Chemical Society, Polymer Preprints, Division of Polymer Chemistry, 40(2), 167-168.
- Application of the Kwei equation to the glass transition of dye solute–polymer blends. Polymer, 40(8), 1935-1941.
- The effect of polymer structure on specific interactions between dye solutes and polymers. Polymer, 40(5), 1325-1332.
- The effect of specific interactions on dye transport in polymers above the glass transition. Polymer, 40(14), 4001-4011.
- Model for the permeability of functionalised solutes in polymers above the glass transition involving specific interactions. Polymer, 39(17), 3977-3980.
- Specific interactions between dye solutes and polymers: The effect of dye solute structure and concentration. Polymer, 39(10), 2055-2060.
- The permeability of a disazothiophene dye solute in polymer matrices above the glass transition. Polymer, 38(12), 2989-2995.
- The effect of intermolecular forces on the glass transition of solute-polymer blends: 2. Extension to different solutes. Polymer, 38(17), 4477-4483.
- Solute diffusion in relation to the glass transition temperature of solute-polymer blends. European Polymer Journal, 33(8), 1369-1376.
- The effect of intermolecular forces on the glass transition of solute-polymer blends. Polymer, 38(10), 2407-2414.
- Study of dye diffusion in polymers using Rutherford backscattering. Polymer, 37(13), 2695-2700.
- Molecular weight and solution viscosity characterization of PVC. Journal of Vinyl and Additive Technology, 15(2), 105-108.
- The effect of chiral end groups on the assembly of supramolecular polyurethanes. Polymer Chemistry.
- Microphase separation induced in the melt of Pluronic copolymers by blending with a hydrogen bonding urea–urethane end-capped supramolecular polymer. Soft Matter, 11(29), 5799-5803.
- Branched methacrylate copolymers from multifunctional comonomers: the effect of multifunctional monomer functionality on polymer architecture and properties. J. Mater. Chem., 13(11), 2711-2720.
- Exploiting acrylic polymer architecture in surface coatings applications, 41-60.
- Facile and cost-effective branched acrylic copolymers from multifunctional comonomers and multifunctional chain transfer agents. Polymer Chemistry, 6(41), 7333-7341.
Conference proceedings papers
- Molecular scale design for highly thermo-sensitive supramolecular polymers. ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, Vol. 242
- Temperature responsive self-assembled polyurea and polyurethane networks. American Chemical Society, Polymer Preprints, Division of Polymer Chemistry, Vol. 49(1) (pp 1084-1085)
- POLY 552-Temperature responsive self-assembled polyurea and polyurethane networks. ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, Vol. 235
- POLY 15-Self-assembled urethane and urea "pseudo" polymers. ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, Vol. 234
- Branching in methyl methacrylate polymerizations incorporating a polymeric chain-transfer agent.. ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, Vol. 218 (pp U525-U525)
- Polymers for electronic imaging: The control of dye transport via dye-polymer interactions. IS&T 50TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE, FINAL PROGRAM AND PROCEEDINGS (pp 299-304)