Wei’s paper accepted (and already appeared online) by Chemical Science!

A paper by Wei (who visited the Faul Research Group as a CSC visitor for one year), Maha, Alex, Kazu, Ben and other collaborators was just accepted for publication by Chemical Science!

The paper shows, for the first time, the ability to reversibly tune the packing parameter of amphiphiles (the packing parameter is a concept that has been used for many decades to predict the structures amphiphiles will form on self-assembly). We here show that it is possible to tune the tail volume of our electroactive amphiphile through non-covalent interactions (i.e., doping of the tetra(aniline)-containing tail!), providing a route to tune self-assembled structures reversibly between fibers and vesicle-like objects.

As the paper is available freely as an open-access publication, feel free to download and read “An addressable packing parameter approach for reversibly tuning the assembly of oligo(aniline)-based supra-amphiphiles“.  Well done Wei and team!

Dicker’s 2017 Scientific Reports publication a “Top 100” paper!

Congratulations to Dicker, who’s 2017 paper in Scientific Reports was recently selected as a “Top 100 accessed chemistry article“!

The open access paper, entitled, “Light-Triggered Soft Artificial Muscles: Molecular-Level Amplification of Actuation Control Signals” discussed a biomimetic molecular-level approach that employed light, with its excellent spatial and temporal control properties, to actuate soft, pH-responsive hydrogel artificial muscles. Although this actuation is triggered by light, it is largely powered by the resulting excitation and runaway chemical reaction of a light-sensitive acid autocatalytic solution in which the actuator is immersed. This process produced actuation strains of up to 45% and a three-fold chemical amplification of the controlling light-trigger, realising a new strategy for the creation of highly functional soft actuating systems.

Scientific Reports published more than 5000 chemistry papers in 2017 – outstanding achievement, well done Dicker!


Superb viva from Dr Charlie!

Charlie (jointly supervised by close collaborator Ian Manners and Charl) defended his thesis earlier this week, with Prof Gustavo Fernandez from Muenster acting as external examiner.  Charlie did a superb job, and will be wrapping up his minor corrections soon!

In addition to the viva, we also enjoyed an afternoon of student talks (with Maha from the FRG giving a great talk!), with Gustavo ending off the afternoon of exciting science with some of the detailed mechanistic work on supramolecular self-assembly from his laboratories.


Friends and visitors, and new group members!

We have had the privilege to have had both Wei and Ben (former PhD students) visiting during the last week! Was great to have both of them here, at the same time!

A new postdoc, Pan, also joined the group in the last week! Pan, who did his PhD at the National Centre for Nanoscience and Technology in Beijing (with Prof Bao-Hang Han), was awarded a Newton International Fellowship for 2 years! Welcome Pan!


New year … and new publication!

A paper, with authors from the Manners and Faul group, just appeared in Macromolecules. Liam, who is a joint PhD student between the two groups, contributed to the paper where the formation of uniform block copolymer fiberlike micelles of controlled length with a crystalline polyselenophene core was explored. Careful control of preparation conditions, especially choice of solvent for the self-assembly, led to the formation of very long fiberlike micelles (of up to 900 nm).

See the paper here for further details.  Well done to Emily, Ali and Liam!


Maha and Charl in London

Maha and Charl attended the “McBain Medal 2017: Watching Colloids Work” meeting in London recently.  Former Bristol student and good friend of the FRG, Dr Rico Tabor (from Monash University in Melbourne) was presented with the McBain medal of the Society of Chemical Industry. As part of the one-day symposium Maha presented a poster on some of her recent work on bola-amphipihles, while Charl gave an invited talk.

Great symposium, and a fantastic opportunity to meet many of the FRG’s collaborators!

Commonwealth Rutherford Fellowships – funding for postdocs!

If you are from a commonwealth country and interested to join the Faul Research Group as postdoc, then you might be eligible to apply for a Commonwealth Rutherford Fellowship (UoB internal deadline 7th of December!). If you are interested to apply, please contact Prof. Faul with a one-page outline proposal as soon as possible. Eligibility criteria can be found here.

Commonwealth Rutherford Fellowships are for highly skilled researchers from other Commonwealth countries to spend one or two years at an eligible UK university or higher education institution conducting postdoctoral research. These fellowships are funded by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the Rutherford Fund, with the aim of attracting global talent and supporting the UK’s research base. Up to 50 fellowships are available.