Dr Andrew Parnell

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Dr Andy Parnell

Research Fellow in Soft Matter and Biophysics

Dr Andy Parnell

I obtained my Ph.D. on the study of responsive nanosystems in 2007 from the University of Sheffield, under the supervision of Professor Richard A.L. Jones FRS. My postdoctoral research career began in Chemistry at Sheffield under Professor Patrick Fairclough before I returned to the group of Prof. Jones in Physics, in both positions studying block copolymer self-assembly. My current research involves understanding the link between structure property relationships for light emitting polymer devices, organic solar cells and structural colour (biological and synthetic). This often involves the study of non-equilibrium dynamics and transitions, as it is the kinetics of processing routes, which strongly determines the overall performance and structure of soft matter materials.

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Room G11b, The Hicks Building, Western Bank, Hounsfield Road, S3 7RH

e-mail address a.j.parnell@sheffield.ac.uk

Research interests


Conferences attended


December 2015

We used the ESRF’s X-rays to study the blue and white feathers of the Jay and have found that birds use well-controlled changes to the nanostructure of their feathers to create the vivid colours of their plumage. This research opens new possibilities into creating non-fading, synthetic colours for paints and clothing. This is published in the open access journal Nature Scientific Reports

October 2015

• Work looking at the way in which Amyloid diseases like Alzheimers damage the cell has been published as an open access article in the journal Soft Matter available here

September 2015

• Heating and cooling cycles like that would be experienced under actual operation are able to make breath pattern structures on the surface of polymer solar cell blend films. This has now been published in the journal Polymer Physics as part of the Ed Kramer special issue polymer physics, also open access.

July 2015

• A book chapter on self-assembling polymer photonics written by Patrick Fairclough and myself is now available [1]

December 2014

• A paper in collaboration with Yohei Kamata (amongst many other good scientists) has just been published in Macromolecules and can be found here [2] (it is open access, so a subscription is not required). This work details the evolution of a lamellar block copolymer that forms vesicles, our aim was to study the formation process so that we can maximise the encapsulation efficiency in a polymer vesicle.

July 2014

• A paper examining the vertical morphology of PCDTBT:PC71BM solar cells has been published in Scientific Reports [3] (it is open access). This work was highlighted by the ISIS neutron facility website here [4]

December 2013

• Our work on triblock copolymer solar cells was featured on the front cover of the Journal Polymer Physics. Here is the link to the article [5]

• My paper on Spin echo grazing incidence studies of OPV blends was published in Applied Physics Letters and can be found here [6]


My talk on bubbles and cells as part of the 24 hour inspiration for life event

link to The Inspiration for Life film

• On the 3rd of November 2011 I attended the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) awards having been shortlisted for the category of innovative product of the year. I was pleased to win the category and am now the proud owner of an IChemE award. IChemE awards