Lecturer in Applied Organic Chemistry, University of Surrey

Peter Roth studied chemistry at the University of Mainz (Germany), the University of Massachusetts (USA) and Seoul National University (South Korea) and obtained his PhD from Mainz in 2009. Jointly supervised by Prof. Rudolf Zentel and Prof. Patrick Theato, his PhD thesis dealt with the orthogonal end group modification of RAFT polymers.

After completing a pre-diploma in psychology at the University of Mainz, Peter moved to Sydney for a postdoc at the Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design (CAMD) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) working with Prof. Tom Davis and Prof. Andrew Lowe.
Peter was awarded a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) in 2012 and was promoted to senior research associate in 2013. Peter’s group in Sydney worked on the development of novel multi-responsive polymers and nanoparticles and exploited multicomponent reactions for the design of reactive polymers.

In 2015 Peter moved to Curtin University in Perth (Western Australia) as a lecturer in chemistry to conduct research and teach within the Department of Chemistry and the Nanochemistry Research Institute.
Peter returned to Europe in 2016 to join the University of Surrey as a lecturer in organic/polymer chemistry.

A main component of our research is the synthesis of multi-functional polymers and polymer nanoparticles and gaining a better understanding of structure–property relationships. A focus lies on biologically compatible polymers and “smart” materials that respond reversibly to changes in environmental conditions.

Polymer Chemistry: controlled radical polymerization (specifically RAFT) and various metal-catalyzed polymerization methods; multicomponent reactions, click-type chemistries, post-polymerization modification
Smart Polymers: temperature-responsive materials (especially such with upper critical solution temperature (UCST) in water), multi-responsive polymers, CO2-responsive polymers, metal ion-sensitive polymers
Biological Interface: protein bio-conjugation, non-toxic polymers, antifouling materials
Nanoparticle Synthesis: stimulus-triggered self-assembly, polymerization-induced self-assembly, stimulus-triggered ‘shape-shifting’

Current Aims
Design and synthesis of bio-active smart polymers and multi/bio-responsive polymers
Development of novel click/multicomponent reactions and photo-activated chemistries for polymer modification
Synthesis of stimulus-responsive nanoparticles for biomedical applications
Advanced biodegradable polymers and polymer nanoparticles with tuneable degradability
Antimicrobial polymers and surfaces


  • –present
    Lecturer in Applied Organic Chemistry, University of Surrey