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Materials chemistry

Research  Materials chemistry with The Open University

Materials chemistry is a vibrant area of research at the OU. We have an extensive track record in working synergistically with both industrial and academic partners.

Key themes of our research include:

  • Catalysis research, focusing on the synthesis and characterisation of bimetallic catalysts for fuel cells and catalytic converters. We also have interests in characterising porous materials and surfaces.
  • Condensed matter theory
  • Green chemistry and resource efficiency research, focusing on recovery of high value chemicals from waste and biomass. 
  • Nanomaterials and nanocomposites, focusing on novel materials and their uses
  • Organosilicon research, focusing on new materials and coatings based on silsesquioxanes, biomimetic organosilicon chemistry, the development of novel HPLC phases and the mechanism of substitution at silicon.
  • Polymer processing and structure development research, focusing on understanding and predicting the effects of molecular variables during polymer processing. 
  • Supramolecular chemistry research, focusing on luminescent sensors and probes, and photoactive molecular devices.

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Potential research projects

  • Molecular imprinted polymers for clean-up of biological samples
  • Electrospinning of biomimetic nanofibers

Current/recent research projects

  • Production of novel HPLC phases
  • Characterisation of a novel silsesquioxane fabrication
  • Biocatalysis at silicon
  • Development and analysis of recognition polymers
  • Lanthanide complexes as incorporated luminescent detectors
  • Understanding and improving reactivity of low platinum group metal three-way catalysts
  • Supported catalysts for the recovery of valuable chemicals from wastes

Potential supervisors

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 655808

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.