Kamran’s paper accepted!

A paper by our collaborators at the National Centre for Nanoscience and Technology in Beijing (Prof Zhixiang Wei and his group, with contributions from Charl) was just accepted. The lead author is Kamran, who visited last year and October (and still attends some group meetings and social events, virtually!)!

The paper, in the RSC’s Sustainable Energy & Fuels, discusses the use of a coaxial nanocomposite of an active anthraquinone-based Covalent Organic Framework (AQ-COF) and carbon nanotubes for Lithium Ion Battery applications. AQ-COF was grown on the surface of carbon nanotubes (AQ-COF@CNTs) through an in-situ polymerization to improve the conductivity and to facilitate the electrochemical properties. Please read here for further details! Congratulations to Kamran and the other authors!

Luke’s paper appeared online!

A paper on switchable azobenzene-based liquid crystals by Luke, who visited in July 2019, and supervised by collaborator Rico Tabor (and co-supervised by Charl!), just appeared online in the RSC’s PCCP.

The study, entitled “Structural relationships for the design of responsive azobenzene-based lyotropic liquid crystals” explored light-responsive binary (azobenzene + solvent) lyotropic liquid crystals (LCs), and investigated their phase behaviour by structural modification of simple azobenzene molecules. A range of scattering and microscopy techniques were employed to explore the influence of structure and light-switchable nature on phase behaviour in these very interesting systems. Well done to Luke and all collaborators!

Pan’s paper accepted … and now online

A paper by Pan (with collaborators from the Schroeder Group at UCL and Chemical Engineering in Bath) was just accepted for publication in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. The study, on the use of new conjugated microporous polymers for gas and vapour sorption and detection, provides insight into the use of CMPs for applications very relevant to the issues of indoor air quality and sensing.

The paper has now appeared as just accepted! Congratulations to all involved!

Plenary in Shanghai!

Charl gave a plenary lecture at Donghua University’s 9th International Conference on Advance Fibers and Polymer Materials.

The conference, organised by the State Key Laboratory for Modification of Fibers and Polymer Materials, included a range of contributions from the USA, China, UK, Germany, Japan and Korea (amongst others!).

Charl also had to the opportunity to catch up with Yaozu, Wei (former FRG members now at Donghua), as well as collaborators Prof Hiroshi Kitagawa (Kyoto, Japan), and Dr Samuel Chigome (BITRI, Botswana).

Paper with Donghua University, Shanghai!

A new study, where Charl contributed to on-going collaborative activities with former postdoc (and now professor at Donghua) Yaozu Liao, was published in Chemical Engineering Journal. This study explored modified tetraphenylmethane (TPM)-based POPs i.e. mPTPMs (synthesized via Buchwald-Hartwig cross-coupling of a tetrakis(4-bromophenyl) methane core and selected aryl diamine linkers, followed by a crosslinking alkylation strategy using diiodomethane as a crosslinker).


This new strategy offers mPTPMs with high surface areas, uniform ultramicropores where porous properties are readily controlled by the substitutions of linkers and the crosslinker. More details on the paper entitled “A crosslinking alkylation strategy to construct nitrogen-enriched tetraphenylmethane-based porous organic polymers as efficient carbon dioxide and iodine adsorbents” to follow soon!

Well done to all involved!

Charlie’s paper published!

Congrats to Charlie and all other contributors – our paper in Macromolecules was just published! In this study, entitled “Linear and Branched Fiber-like Micelles from the Crystallization-Driven Self-Assembly of Heterobimetallic Block Copolymer Polyelectrolyte / Surfactant Complexes” we explored the solution self-assembly of a heterobimetallic diblock copolymer with a crystallizable poly(ferrocenyldimethylsilane) (PFS) core-forming block and a corona-forming segment featuring a poly(cobaltoceniumethylene) (PCE)-based polyelectrolyte/surfactant complex.

We found that key features of the one-dimensional (1D) morphologies were dependent on both the polarity of the solvent medium and temperature. Read the paper for more details – the 11th collaborative paper with the Manners group!


Paper accepted in Macromolecules!

Charlie, former joint BCS CDT PhD student with the Manners group and now postdoc in the Seferos Group in Toronto, had another paper published from his PhD!

The study, accepted for publication in Macromolecules, explores the solution self-assembly of a heterobimetallic diblock copolymers with a crystallisable poly(ferrocenyldimethylsilane) (PFS) core-forming block and a corona-forming segment featuring a poly(cobaltoceniumethylene) (PCE) based polyelectrolyte/surfactant complex. More details to follow soon!

Congrats to Charlie, and other co-authors (Rebecca, Becs and Rob)!

Paper in Angewandte Chemie, with a pinch of salt!

Fantastic news! A paper from the Faul Research Group by Jie Chen (now back in China), Esther Townsend (BCFN), Veronica del Angel Hernandez, Pan, and colleagues from the Xi’an Jiaotong University in China appeared in Angewandte Chemie today!


The discovery of the Bristol-Xi’an Jiaotong (BXJ) approach, where we use simple inorganic salts to carefully tune N-containing conjugated microporous materials (CMPs), enables elegant synthetic control over the surface area, pore size distributions and function of N-containing CMPs. This approach enables the preparation of amorphous porous materials that start to challenge COFs and MOFs in properties and function!

Well done to all involved!!

It has been a while …

… since our last post! Apologies! Lots have been happening since the end of March, with Charl teaching at Tsinghua, visiting Jilin and attending the UoB’s graduation ceremony (see the video here!).

In addition, Basiram has joined the group as new PhD student, and Sebastien has joined as independent research fellow, with several more visitors arriving over the summer! And, as always, someone will be leaving – this time Maciek, who will be taking up an independent academic position in Bath (congrats!).

And, finally, we hope to have some good news on some big publications very soon! More news, updates and pictures to follow soon!

Starting the year on a high note – first publication!

Happy 2019! The year has started on a high note, with our first paper (joint with our collaborators Jiangfei Xu and Xi Zhang from the Department of Chemistry at Tsinghua) just accepted and appeared online in Chemistry Society Reviews!

Henry and Charl contributed to the tutorial review, entitled “Molecular Engineering of Polymeric Supra-amphiphiles“, where the concept of supra-amphiphiles is introduced and discussed in detail! Well done to all involved!