Many applications of soft matter are important in industry, biology and everyday life. The materials are often made of polymers, colloids or nanostructured systems. Examples include drug delivery systems, paints, coatings and many natural products as well as gels, rubbers and plastic materials
Current research in this area includes studies of interactions of dispersed particles, the effects of external influences such as electric fields or stress on structure and phase behaviour. A particular interest has been to study relationships between structure and properties. and in-situ investigation of samples under flow is a speciality.
A further area of activity is the study of adsorbed and self-assembled layers at interfaces. The design and preparation of interfacial structures is crucial to many modern materials and we apply a wide range of analytical tools to this problem.
Further information about some of the terminology in this area can be found in the Glossary of Colloid and Polymer Science that has been made available as a teaching resource. For a simple introduction to some ideas in polymer physics look at the following Schools Lecture material Building with Snakes.