UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Barry Reid

Barry joined the department in 05/2015 on an EPSRC Case Studentship with BASF.

He graduated with a First Class Honours B.Sc. in Analytic Science from Dublin City University in 2014 having returned to university as a mature student in 2010.  He has also graduated from the National University of Ireland (Maynooth) with a BA in Finance and Economics in 2003.

He was awarded an undergraduate fellowship to conduct research in the Kamat Lab in the University of Notre Dame during the summer of 2014.  During this time, he conducted research on the analysis of the crystalline structures of hybrid perovskite materials for solar cell applications.

He has worked in the financial industry for 7 years and has experience working in pharmaceutical and environmental monitoring sectors.

Research project

Title: Soft Matter-Directed Materials Assembly of Mesoporous Thin Film Architectures.

Porous materials are ubiquitous in nature, being found in everything from cell walls and organelles of living organisms to wood and minerals.  In materials chemistry the porosity of a material can have an impact on properties such as its mechanical strength, thermal/electrical conductivity, optical and chemical reactivity.  Mesoporous materials, exhibiting pore sizes of between 2 and 50 nm, have been the subject of great interest in fields such as solar cells, antireflective coatings, drug delivery and bio-sensing to name a few.

Block Copolymers (BCPs) consist of two or more chemically distinct polymeric blocks covalently bound to one another which, when placed in solution, self-assemble into micelles due to the presence of repulsive and attractive forces between the polymer blocks the solvent and between the blocks themselves.  Upon spin-coating to a glass or silicon substrate the BCP will form a characteristic architecture consisting of “micro-phases” rich in each block.  One of the blocks can be selectively removed to form a porous architecture.   Understanding of the factors that influence the self-assembly of BCPs is paramount in controlling the porous architecture and degree of mesoporosity.

Barry’s research will be centred on the study of structure formation by soft matter self-assembly and translation into inorganic porous thin film architectures.  He will investigate how the starting materials can be manipulated to alter the fundamental characteristics of the final material.  Analytical techniques such as SEM, spectroscopic ellipsometry, XRD, SAXS and other methods will be utilised to characterise the synthesised materials.

He will also investigate how the synthesised films can be incorporated into functional devices for applications such as antireflective coatings and anti-biofouling applications.


BA (Fin) in Economics and Finance, National University of Ireland (Maynooth), Ireland, 2003
BSC. in Analytical Science, Dublin City University, Ireland, 2014