Screen Shot 2020-03-12 at 1.58.45 pm

Investigating stimuli-responsive self-assembled materials

About us

The Roberts Group (led by Dr Derrick A. Roberts) focuses on designing self-assembled molecules and materials that can respond to external stimuli (e.g., light, biochemical cues) by undergoing controlled chemical and structural transformations (e.g., discrete polymer vesicles transforming into gel networks). We use supramolecular and dynamic covalent interactions to explore self-assembly phenomena spanning from small molecule recognition (metal-ligand coordination, halogen bonding) up to microphase separation of block copolymers.


Broadly, the Roberts Group's research interests include:

  • Molecular self-assembly and supramolecular chemistry

  • Metal-organic coordination complexes

  • Controlled polymer synthesis (RAFT, ROMP) and self-assembly

  • Stimuli-responsive materials for controlled delivery and degradation


Our central challenge is thus to figure out the rules governing which product structures may be expected to emerge from a complex self-assembling system. These rules may then be used synthetically, to create complex and potentially functional assemblies.

The Australian Research Council and The University of Sydney are acknowledged and thanked for research funding.


Research Areas
Group Members
Join the Roberts Group
Or get in touch at: