Professor Paul Bartlett

B.A. (hons), M.A. (Oxon)., D.Phil.(Oxon.)

  • BS8 1TS

1989 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

I study the design, synthesis and analysis of soft matter systems, focusing in particular on the structure and dynamics of colloidal suspensions.

What is Soft Matter?

Soft Matter is very, very widespread. You've almost certainly eaten it for breakfast this morning, washed your hair with it, smeared it over your face before leaving for work and are now reading about it on a display which only works precisely because it is a soft material.

Soft Matter is the science of squishy materials such as as polymers, liquid crystals, colloids, foams, gels, and a wide variety of self-organizing materials. Or on a more technical note, it is the study of materials with length scales which are much larger than molecules, so their physical properties are dominated by thermal fluctuations and easily deformed by applied external stresses.

Why is it interesting?

The beauty of Soft Matter is that everything happens on scales which are much bigger than the size of its atomic or molecular constituents. Surprising things happen which are difficult to predict from simply knowing the microscopic molecular structure because of the dominant role of entropy in the system. The presence of many fluctuating degrees of freedom ensures the equilibrium structure is very sensitive to external stresses. This sensitivity raises fascinating new problems in physics, chemistry and material science opening up numerous possibilities for technological applications.

What do we do?

My research group employs a variety of experimental techniques such as three-dimensional confocal microscopy, optical manipulation, and light, X-ray and neutron scattering to understand how the macroscopic physical properties of soft materials are determined by the mesoscopic structure of these fascinating materials.

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Research Output

  • 63 Article (Academic Journal)
  • 4 Conference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)
  • 4 Other chapter contribution
  • 3 Chapter in a book

The curious case of SDS self-assembly in glycerol: Formation of a lamellar gel

Matthews, L., Przybyłowicz, Ż., Rogers, S. E., Bartlett, P., Johnson, A. J., Sochon, R. & Briscoe, W. H., 15 Jul 2020, In : Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. 572, p. 384-395 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • Droplet evaporation: Colloidal interactions vs. evaporation kinetics

    Shafiq, M. D., Waggett, F., Norris, E. & Bartlett, P., 5 Oct 2019, In : Colloids and Surfaces A. Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. 578, 8 p., 123555.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • Charge regulation of nonpolar colloids

    Hallett, J. E., Gillespie, D. A. J., Richardson, R. M. & Bartlett, P., 21 Jan 2018, In : Soft Matter. 14, 3, p. 331-343 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
  • 9 Citations (Scopus)
    238 Downloads (Pure)

    Supervised Work

    Controlling the collapse of weak colloid-polymer gels

    Author: Teece, L. J., 2011

    Supervisor: Bartlett, P. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


    Direct Measurement of Electrostatic Forces between Colloids

    Author: Waggett, F., 1 Oct 2019

    Supervisor: Bartlett, P. (Supervisor) & Eastoe, J. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


    Electrostatic Interactions of Non-Polar Colloidal System and Implications for Industrial Applications

    Author: Shafiq, M., 1 Oct 2019

    Supervisor: Bartlett, P. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)