I was born in Southend-on-Sea, and completed my senior education at Westcliff High School for Boys. In 2003, I started my higher education at the University of Warwick, studying for a undergraduate masters degree in Chemistry. This degree enabled me to foresee the life of a postgraduate research chemist, as I spent my final year, under the supervision of Professor David Haddleton, working on a new and exciting area of polymer science – Single Electron Transfer Living Radical Polymerisations (SET-LRP). Unfortunately, due to the nature of the MChem, I only spent 20 weeks on this research project and so I wanted to stay on and further my studies as a Post Graduate Research Associate. I started my PGRA studies at Warwick in 2007, and will graduate in 2011 with a doctorate in Chemistry.
Self healing materials are inspired by biological systems where damage leads to an automatic healing response, for example, the self repair of cuts and bruises on the human body. The application of this philosophy to polymers and materials is relatively new but gaining in interest for a number of potential applications. Synthetic polymers often have a limited lifespan with a tendency to damage or degrade over time due to constant stresses and strains. This is driving the development of polymeric materials that can self heal, either as an effect of an external stimuli or, ideally by an auto-response. In conventional materials damage first occurs at the microscopic level and repair at this level is essential to restore the full mechanical properties, as opposed to macroscopic repair with adhesives, etc. For polymers this has been achieved by both irreversible repair, i.e.by incorporating microcapsules containing reactive monomer into a thermoset matrix or by including an element of reversibility, either covalent or non-covalent, into cross linked polymers.
My main interest is the use of Controlled Living Radical Polymerisation Techniques to produce polymers with the ability to Self Heal. Advances in controlled radical polymerization (CRP) allow for the synthesis of functional polymers with excellent control over molecular weight, molecular weight distribution, architecture and incorporation of functionality. The introduction of a range of techniques, ATRP, RAFT and NMRP give the polymer chemist a great deal of control of polymer properties. This opens up the range of industries that can use Self Healing technology. My project involves a variety of organic and polymer synthesis.
My other research interests include Click (Thiol Conjugation) Chemistry, and the general use of Polymers in the Automotive industry.
Jay A. Syrett, Remzi C.R. Becer, David M. Haddleton, Polym. Chem., 2010, 7, 978 - 987
Jay A. Syrett, Giuseppe Mantovani, William R. S. Barton, David Price and David M. Haddleton, Polym. Chem., 2010, 1, 102
Leena Nurmi, Josefina Lindqvist, Rajan Randev, Jay Syrett and David M. Haddleton, Chem. Commun., 2009, 2727