PhD Student, Durham University, 2012-present
‘Smart’ polymer nanoparticles
This PhD project is part of the NanoS3 Marie Curie Initial Training Network, a European project to creating hierarchically structured, ‘smart’ polymer nanoparticles. The development of simpler polymer nanoparticles has triggered several recent breakthroughs. But there is a strong need for more complex structures. The new NanoS3 project will construct hyper structures comprising multiple domains or shells for a larger number of functionalities and smarter applications. In particular, a functionality to bind the particle to a target surface will be explicitly included in the particle design. Our work will focus on the changes in the structure of the soft nanoparticles interfaces during the adsorption and the kinetics of binding and transport to the surface. This PhD project will combine the advanced tools in surface spectroscopy, providing surface specific chemical information, with sub second resolution for monitoring the binding of nanoparticles to surfaces. A recently developed technique in Durham using a controlled hydrodynamic flow cell and a surface specific spectroscopy will play a key role. Different surfaces will be tested and will provide a true understanding of the different types of forces implied during the binding process.