Crystallisation and Directed Assembly


A snowflake, representing research into crystallisation and directed assembly

This research group focusses on the application of assembly-based approaches for the generation of new functional materials.

When we look at nature, a fundamental feature of many of the materials or matter formed (which range from crystalline solids such as salt, to tightly-packed DNA in chromosomes, functional proteins, bio-membranes which enable the function of all life-on-earth, and even macroscopic structures such as bone, which shows a remarkable seven levels of hierarchical ordering) is that they display highly organized structures.

Interestingly, such materials are often generated by the self-assembly of smaller sub-units, where the composition and geometry of the sub-units dictates how they interact and then assemble. In this way, nature can construct complex materials with remarkable properties that go far beyond that achievable with small molecules.

Our research takes inspiration from these processes, and is investigating how assembly occurs over length scales ranging from the molecular to the mesoscale. Our researchers use state-of-the-art facilities to conduct impactful research across a variety of centres.

Addressing topics ranging from crystallisation, supramolecular assembly, nanoreactor templating, crystal engineering and the assembly of bio-molecules we are developing an understanding of the physico-chemical interactions which govern assembly processes.

With this insight, we are then able to design and build new structures/materials, with tailor-made properties, where targets can include new molecular devices, catalytic materials, drug therapies, electronic components, sensors, energy storage or batteries.

PhD projects

We have opportunities for prospective postgraduate researchers. Find out more.

Further information

View all members of our research group and publications.

Contact us

If you are interested in collaborating with us or joining our research team, please get in touch with a relevent staff member.