Dr Liam Ratcliffe


Department: Chemistry

Group: Prof. Steven Armes

Status: Postdoctoral Researcher



Dr. Liam Ratcliffe obtained his Mchem in Chemistry with study in industry from the University of Sheffield in 2010, which was followed by a PhD at the same institution (under the supervision of Prof. Steve Armes, FRS) which he recently completed in 2014. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher on a collaborative project between the University of Sheffield and the University of Manchester

Research Interests

Using Reversible Addition-Fragmentation chain Transfer (RAFT) Polymerisation to synthesise a wide range of controlled-structure, methacrylic, acrylic or methacrylamide-based polymers. Block copolymer self-assembly in aqueous, alkane and alcoholic media using polymerisation-induced self-assembly (PISA) to prepare a range of diblock copolymer-based ‘nano-objects’ in concentrated solution. Morphological characterisation by TEM and rheological characterisation of worm-like polymer gels to understand the physical properties and potential applications of these materials is also of interest. Working towards the rational design of such ‘nano-objects’ we seek to exploit our enhanced understanding in order to generalise this powerful PISA approach to produce robust, reproducible formulations.

Recent Publications

1. Zehm, D., et al. (2012). "Synthesis of Diblock Copolymer Nanoparticles via RAFT Alcoholic Dispersion Polymerization: Effect of Block Copolymer Composition, Molecular Weight, Copolymer Concentration, and Solvent Type on the Final Particle Morphology." Macromolecules 46(1): 128-139.

2. Ratcliffe, L. P. D., et al. (2013). "From a Water-Immiscible Monomer to Block Copolymer Nano-Objects via a One-Pot RAFT Aqueous Dispersion Polymerization Formulation." Macromolecules 46(3): 769-777.

3. Yang, P., et al. (2013). "Efficient Synthesis of Poly(methacrylic acid)-block-Poly(styrene-alt-N-phenylmaleimide) Diblock Copolymer Lamellae Using RAFT Dispersion Polymerization." Macromolecules 46(21): 8545–8556.

4. Fielding, L. A., et al. (2013). "RAFT dispersion polymerization in non-polar solvents: facile production of block copolymer spheres, worms and vesicles in n-alkanes." Chemical Science 4(5): 2081-2087.

5. Ratcliffe, L. P. D., et al. (2014). "RAFT polymerization of hydroxy-functional methacrylic monomers under heterogeneous conditions: effect of varying the core-forming block." Polymer Chemistry 5: 3643-3655.