University of Manchester

Professor Peter M. Budd

School of Chemistry, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.

Telephone: ++161 275 4711









Graphene link






Welcome to the fascinating world of molecules and macromolecules.

We carry out fundamental research on polymers and their interactions with small molecules. We seek to apply our knowledge for the benefit of society and are developing novel materials for a variety of industrial and medical applications.


In Manchester, we have invented a novel class of polymers, referred to as polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs), which have rigid, contorted molecular structures. In the solid state the polymer molecules cannot pack together efficiently, so the material behaves like a sieve for small molecules (i.e., it has micropores, holes smaller than two nanometers).

PIM-1 membrane


A membrane may be used to separate mixtures of gases or liquids into their components. To be useful, a membrane material needs to be both highly selective (i.e., one type of molecule must pass through more easily than others) and highly permeable (i.e., it must let a lot through). We are developing membranes for applications such as carbon dioxide capture and biofuel recovery.


In collaboration with researchers across the Faculty of Science and Engineering, we are seeking to develop the science and technology of graphene-based membranes, exploring a range of applications in molecular separations, as barrier materials, in fuel cells, and in sensors. Watch a video about graphene-based membranes.

Simulation of graphene with PIM-1


Polyelectrolytes are polymers that possess many ionizable groups. In collaboration with Prof. Julie Gough (School of Materials), Prof. David Watts (School of Dentistry) and Prof. Judith Hoyland (School of Medicine), we are investigating bioactive polyelectrolytes for application in tissue engineering.


When postdoctoral research positions or funded PhD studentships are available, they are advertised on the University website. Please note that we cannot respond to speculative enquiries, due to the large number that are received.


Constrained polymer

A Scientific Report shows how selective transport of gases and vapours is changed when a polymer of intrinsic microporosity (PIM) is constrained in nanoscale channels.

Global challenge

The EPSRC global challenges fund is supporting a feasibility study on "Safe drinking water from fluoride-rich groundwater." In parts of India, and elsewhere, the water contains excessive fluoride, which can give rise to severe health problems. We have developed polymers which readily take up fluoride, and hope to develop an efficient, cost-effective water treatment system that can be used by remote communities.

Manchester Energy highlight

Our Chemical Communication on hypercrosslinked nanoparticle fillers for mixed matrix membranes was the Manchester Energy highlighted publication in May.

Membranes in MOOCs

Our research features in a massive online open course (MOOC) on "Graphene and 2D Materials", and in a forthcoming MOOC on "Industrial Biotechnology."


Congratulations to Khalid Althumayri, who achieved his PhD.

C&EN looks at graphene

We are quoted in an article in Chemical and Engineering News on "commericalising graphene."

Dielectic spectroscopy reveals polymer mobility

Recent dielectric measurements provide evidence of a high temperature relaxation process in PIM-1.

Manchester and Liverpool United

A Chemical Communication presents initial results from collaborative research involving Manchester and Liverpool Universities, on mixed matrix membranes for carbon dioxide capture.

Polymers for tissue engineering

A paper in Macromolecules presents some of our research on copolymers for application in bone tissue scaffolds.

PIM-1/graphene nanocomposites

Recent publications describe the gas permeation properties and characterization of PIM-1/graphene nanocomposites.

Chemists in Hawaii

Peter Budd gave two invited talks at Pacifichem in Honolulu, 15-20 December 2015, on "PIMs: tailoring selectivity through chemical modification" and on "High free volume polymers for gas separation".

SynFabFun launches

The formal launch meeting of the Programme grant "From Membrane Material Synthesis to Fabrication and Function" (SynFabFun) took place in London on 3 December 2015. The research programme brings together key groups researching membranes for gas and liquid separations at Manchester, Newcastle, Imperial College, Edinburgh and Bath Universities.


Congratulations to Bekir Satilmis, who achieved his PhD.

Award for product utilising Manchester invention

The 3M Organic Vapour Filter End of Service Life Indicator won a Product Innovation Award from the British Safety Industry Federation. The product uses a Polymer of Intrinsic Microporosity invented in Manchester. You can read about the product in the May 2015 issue of "Tomorrow's Health & Safety", on p. 36. More information.

Graphene membranes video

A short video about graphene-based membranes can be viewed on the graphene website or on YouTube.


Updated 30 September 2016

Copyright © 2006 - 2016 Peter M. Budd


Graphene membrane video

Graphene's potential to provide drinking water

Peter Budd talks to Polymer Chemistry

Macromolecules 22 June 2010