Research course

Materials Chemistry

Open University · Department of Chemistry and Analytical Science

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Months of entry


Course content

Materials chemistry is a vibrant area of research at the OU. We have an extensive track record in working synergistically with both industrial and academic partners.

Key themes of our research include:

  • Organosilicon research, focusing on the fundamental chemistry of organosilicon compounds including: new materials and coatings based on silsesquioxanes, biomimetic organosilicon chemistry, novel organosilicon compounds based on silsesquioxane cages, the development of novel HPLC phases and the mechanism of substitution at silicon.
  • Catalysis research, focusing on the synthesis and characterisation of bimetallic catalysts for fuel cells and catalytic converters. We also have interests in characterising porous materials and surfaces.
  • Polymer processing and structure development research, focusing on understanding and predicting the effects of molecular variables during polymer processing. Relating this closely to their molecular architecture and properties allows the development of improved materials in the future.
  • Molecular imprinted polymers research, focusing on the potential for the detection of biomarkers, toxins, explosives and pharmaceuticals, and the physical properties of this polymer class.
  • Green chemistry and resource efficiency research, focusing on recovery of high value chemicals from waste and biomass.
  • Supramolecular chemistry research, focusing on luminescent sensors and probes, and photoactive molecular devices. Experimental work is supported and complemented by computer modelling of solid inorganic materials including oxides with interesting electronic and magnetic properties.
Potential supervisors

Department specialisms

Production of Novel HPLC phases (Professor Peter Taylor) Characterisation of a novel silsesquioxane fabrication (Professor Peter Taylor) Biocatalysis at silicon (Professor Peter Taylor) Development and Analysis of Recognition Polymers (Dr Nicholas Turner) MIPS for clean up of biological samples (Dr Nicholas Turner) Lanthanide Complexes as Incorporated Luminescent Detectors (Dr James Bruce) Understanding and improving reactivity of low platinum group metal three-way catalysts. (Dr Eleanor Crabb)

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website for more information.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
distance learning
variable months
part time
72 months


full time
15 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 659036