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Steven Armes

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Notable awards
FRS (2014)

Steven Armes

Alma mater
University of Bristol

Steven Armes

Los Alamos National Laboratory University of Sussex University of Sheffield

Colloidal forms of conducting polymers (1987)

Doctoral students
Vicki Cunningham Matt Derry Dave Growney Amanda Harvey Lizzy Jones Joe Lovett Charlotte Mable Yin Ning Nick Penfold

Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of Sussex, University of Sheffield

Steven Peter Armes (born 1962) FRS is a Professor of Polymer chemistry and Colloid Chemistry at the University of Sheffield.



Armes was educated at Whitley Abbey Comprehensive School in Coventry and the University of Bristol where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in 1983 and a PhD in 1987.


After a postdoctoral research at Los Alamos National Laboratory Armes became a lecturer at the University of Sussex in 1989 where he worked until 2004. He moved to Sheffield to become Professor of Polymer and Colloid Chemistry in 2004. As of 2016 he is a director of Farapack Polymers Limited, a corporate spin-off from the University of Sheffield.


Armes group does research on polymer chemistry and colloid chemistry. Using polymerisation techniques such as Reversible addition−fragmentation chain-transfer polymerisation (RAFT) and Atom-transfer radical-polymerization (ATRP) his laboratory synthesises a wide range of polymers.

His research focuses on the synthesis and application of polymers – long-chain molecules formed from many repeating units known as monomers. In particular, Steven's research group has developed new ways to make water-soluble or water-dispersible polymers based on methacrylic monomers.

A powerful approach is to use polymerisation-induced self-assembly (PISA). For example, a water-insoluble polymer can be grown from one end of a water-soluble polymer in aqueous solution. The growing hydrophobic chain leads to in situ self-assembly, forming copolymer nanoparticles of tuneable size and shape. These nanoparticles have a wide range of potential applications, including as a long-term storage medium for stem cells, viscosity modifiers, novel microcapsules and nanoparticle lubricants.

His other research interests include designing novel biocompatible copolymer gels and vesicles and developing microscopic nanocomposite particles, which have applications in paints and antireflective coatings. Steven also has a fruitful collaboration with space scientists based in the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States, for whom he designs synthetic mimics to aid our understanding the behaviour of micrometeorites travelling at hypervelocities in outer space.

Awards and honours

Armes was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2014. His nomination reads:

Armes was also awarded the Tilden Prize by the Royal Society of Chemistry.


Steven Armes Wikipedia

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