Steven Armes

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Steve Armes

Professor Steven Armes FRS.jpg
Steve Armes at the Royal Society admissions day in 2014
Steven Peter Armes

1962 (age 56–57)[1]
EducationWhitley Abbey Comprehensive School[2]
Alma materUniversity of Bristol (BSc, PhD)
AwardsTilden Prize[when?]
Scientific career
ThesisColloidal forms of conducting polymers (1987)
Doctoral advisorBrian Vincent[3]
InfluencesTony Ryan[3]
Norman Billingham[3]
Matt Aldissi[3]

Steven Peter Armes (born 1962)[1] FRS[4] is a Professor of polymer chemistry and colloid chemistry at the University of Sheffield.[5][6]


Armes was educated at Whitley Abbey Comprehensive School[2][7] in Coventry and the University of Bristol where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in 1983 and followed by a PhD in 1987 for research supervised by Brian Vincent.[3][2][8]

Career and research[edit]

After a postdoctoral research at Los Alamos National Laboratory[9] Armes became a lecturer at the University of Sussex in 1989[2] where he worked until 2004. He moved to Sheffield to become Professor of Polymer and Colloid Chemistry in 2004.[2] As of 2016 he is a director of Farapack Polymers Limited,[1] a corporate spin-off from the University of Sheffield. Armes group does research on polymer chemistry and colloid chemistry.[9] Using polymerisation techniques such as reversible addition−fragmentation chain-transfer polymerization (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.[10]

A powerful approach is to use polymerisation-induced self-assembly (PISA).[11] 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.[12] 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.[10]

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.[10] Armes has developed robust new synthetic routes to controlled-structure water-soluble polymers. He optimised the living radical polymerisation of hydrophilic methacrylates, discovered a new class of 'schizophrenic' diblock copolymers whose amphiphilicity can be switched on or off, and has designed a range of novel biocompatible block copolymer gels and vesicles. His work on water-borne polymer colloids has led to novel shell cross-linked micelles and nanocomposite particles, with applications in paints, anti-reflective coatings and as stimulus-responsive Pickering emulsifiers.[4]

Awards and honours[edit]

Armes was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2014.[10] More recently, he has pioneered polymerisation-induced self-assembly to produce a range of bespoke spherical, worm-like and vesicular nano-objects via RAFT dispersion polymerisation.[4] Armes was awarded the Tilden Prize by the Royal Society of Chemistry.[when?]


  1. ^ a b c Anon (2016). "Steven Peter Armes: Farapack Polymers Limited (05063994)". London: Companies House. Archived from the original on 6 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Anon (2017). Armes, Prof. Steven Peter. Who's Who (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U281967. closed access (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b c d e Stephen Armes. "Polymerisation-Induced Self-Assembly" (PDF). Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Anon (2014). "Professor Steven Armes FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 8 June 2014.
  5. ^ Steven Armes publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  6. ^ Armes, Steven (2016). "Armes lab group members". Sheffield. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016.
  7. ^ Anon (2016). "Whitley Academy Alumni: Professor Steven Armes". Coventry: Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  8. ^ Armes, Steven Peter (1987). Colloidal forms of conducting polymers (PhD thesis). University of Bristol. OCLC 499867741. EThOS
  9. ^ a b Steven Armes Entry at ORCID
  10. ^ a b c d Anon (2014). "Professor Steven Armes FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

  11. ^ Blanazs, Adam; Armes, Steven P.; Ryan, Anthony J. (2009). "Self-Assembled Block Copolymer Aggregates: From Micelles to Vesicles and their Biological Applications". Macromolecular Rapid Communications. 30 (4–5): 267–277. doi:10.1002/marc.200800713. ISSN 1022-1336. PMID 21706604.
  12. ^ Du, Jianzhong; Tang, Yiqing; Lewis, Andrew L.; Armes, Steven P. (2005). "pH-Sensitive Vesicles Based on a Biocompatible Zwitterionic Diblock Copolymer". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 127 (51): 17982–17983. doi:10.1021/ja056514l. ISSN 0002-7863. PMID 16366531. closed access

 This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 4.0 license.