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Dr Matthew Derry - Aston University. Birmingham, , GB

Dr Matthew Derry

Lecturer in Chemistry | Aston University


Dr Derry conducts research on block copolymer self-assembly using small-angle X-ray scattering.




Dr Matthew Derry joined the Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry (CEAC) department in December 2019 as a Lecturer in Chemistry. Prior to joining Aston University he studied for his MChem degree in Chemistry with a Year in Industry at the University of York in 2012. This was followed by an industrially-funded PhD in Polymer Chemistry at the University of Sheffield under the supervision of Professor Steven P. Armes FRS in 2016, where his thesis was entitled "Polymerisation-induced self-assembly in non-polar media". He then continued at the University of Sheffield as a Research Associate to study block copolymer self-assembly using X-ray scattering in the groups of Professor Steven P. Armes FRS, Professor Anthony J. Ryan OBE and Dr Oleksandr O. Mykhaylyk.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Polymer Science

Materials Science

Block Copolymer Self-Assembly

X-ray Scattering

Education (2)

University of Sheffield: Ph.D., Polymer Chemistry 2016

University of York: M.Chem., Chemistry 2012

Affiliations (2)

  • Royal Society of Chemistry : Member
  • American Chemical Society : Member

Media Appearances (1)

Aston Uni developing 5nm surface channel storage technology

Innovation News Network  online


Dr Derry said: “Simply building new data centres without improving data storage technologies is not a viable solution. Increasingly, we face the risk of a so-called data storage crunch and improved data storage solutions are imperative to keep up with the demands of the modern world.”

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Articles (3)

Triggered Polymersome Fusion

Journal of the American Chemical Society

2023 The contents of biological cells are retained within compartments formed of phospholipid membranes. The movement of material within and between cells is often mediated by the fusion of phospholipid membranes, which allows mixing of contents or excretion of material into the surrounding environment. Biological membrane fusion is a highly regulated process that is catalyzed by proteins and often triggered by cellular signaling. In contrast, the controlled fusion of polymer-based membranes is largely unexplored, despite the potential application of this process in nanomedicine, smart materials, and reagent trafficking. Here, we demonstrate triggered polymersome fusion. Out-of-equilibrium polymersomes were formed by ring-opening metathesis polymerization-induced self-assembly and persist until a specific chemical signal (pH change) triggers their fusion. Characterization of polymersomes was performed by a variety of techniques, including dynamic light scattering, dry-state/cryogenic-transmission electron microscopy, and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The fusion process was followed by time-resolved SAXS analysis. Developing elementary methods of communication between polymersomes, such as fusion, will prove essential for emulating life-like behaviors in synthetic nanotechnology.

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Structure Control Using Bioderived Solvents in Electrochemical Metal-Organic Framework Synthesis

Applied Sciences

2023 Electrochemical synthesis of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) has proven to possess many environmental advantages over traditional synthesis methods such as reduced energy use and shorter reaction times. However, the use of toxic, fossil fuel derived solvents such as N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) presents a challenge to the environmental credentials of this method that has yet to be dealt with. Here, we investigate bioderived solvents, CyreneTM and γ-valerolactone (GVL), as an alternative for the synthesis of a range of MOFs via the anodic deposition method. The obtained MOF materials are characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to confirm their identities and morphologies and for comparison with MOFs synthesized using the traditional DMF-based solvent systems. When using CyreneTM and GVL solvents, crystalline MOF materials were obtained of comparable quality to those afforded using DMF. However, in several cases, using CyreneTM or GVL led to the formation of less stable, higher porosity MOF structures than those obtained using DMF, indicating that the larger bio solvent molecules may also play a templating role during the synthesis. This study successfully demonstrates the first-time electrochemical synthesis of MOFs has been performed using bio solvents and has highlighted that the use of bio solvents can provide a route to obtaining lower density, higher porosity MOF phases than those obtained using traditional solvents.

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Heterotelechelic homopolymers mimicking high χ – ultralow N block copolymers with sub-2 nm domain size

Chemical Science

2022 Three fluorinated, hydrophobic initiators have been utilised for the synthesis of low molecular mass fluoro-poly(acrylic acid) heterotelechelic homopolymers to mimic high chi (χ)–low N diblock copolymers with ultrafine domains of sub-2 nm length scale. Polymers were obtained by a simple photoinduced copper(II)-mediated reversible-deactivation radical polymerisation (Cu-RDRP) affording low molecular mass (

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