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Staff Profile

Prof. W. James Feast, CBE, FRS

Emeritus Professor in the Department of Chemistry

(email at

Research Interests

Professor Feast reached formal retirement age in 2003 and now works chiefly from home as an Emeritus Professor. He no longer runs a group and he does not recruit graduate students or post doctoral co- workers. 

His interests are concerned with functional organic materials: design, synthesis, characterization and properties, including:

  • Materials with novel electrical, magnetic and optical properties;
  • Fluoropolymers;
  • Novel topologies, dendrimers and hyperbranched polymers;
  • Self ordering systems;
  • Biomaterials.

Control of size, stereochemistry and organization in established and novel polymers leads to control of properties and function.  Professor Feast's group made contributions to this theme including:

  • synthesis of stereoblock copolymers via ligand exchange at the active chain end of a living ROMP system;
  • demonstration that the mechanical properties of blends of dendritic and linear polymers are very sensitive functions of the size of the dendrimer;
  • synthesis of self-ordering polyene and oligothiophene systems displaying enhanced charge carrier mobilities;
  • demonstration that solid state photoluminescence efficiency is a sensitive function of cis/trans ratio in poly(arylene vinylene)s;
  • control of branching ratio in an AB2 addition polymerisation, leading to dendritic solution behaviour.
  • Synthesis of chiral self assembling sexithiophenes
  • Insights into the long term stability of electroactive materials and the importance of high purities.


    1. Chiral Amphiphilic Self-Assembled α,α'-Linked Quinque-, Sexi-, and Septithiophenes: Synthesis, Stability and Odd-Even Effects, O.Henze, W.J. Feast, F. Gardebien, P. Jonkheijm, R. Lazzaroni, Ph. Leclère, E.W. Meijer and A.P.H.J. Schenning, J. Am. Chem.Soc, 128, 5923-5929 (2006).
    2. Anharmonic Magnetic Deformation of Self-Assembled Molecular Nanocapsules, O.V. Manyuhina, I.O. Shklyarevskiy, P. Jonkheim, P.C.M. Christianen , A. Fasolino, M.I. Katsnelson, A.P.H.J. Schenning, E.W. Meijer, O.Henze, A.F.M. Kilbinger, W.J. Feast and J.C. Mann, Phys. Rev. Letters, 98, 146101 (2007).
    3. Observations on the adherence of Proteus mirabilis onto polymer surfaces, D.J. Stickler, J.C. Lear, N.S. Morris, S.M. Macleod, A. Downer, D.H. Cadd and W.J. Feast, J. App. Microbiology, 100(5), 1028-1033 (2008).
    4. The role of heterogeneous nucleation in the self-assembly of oligothiphenes, M.Wolffs, P.A. Korevaar, P. Jonkheim, O. Henze, W.J. Feast, M. Cavallini, F. Biscarini, A.P.H.J. Schenning and E.W. Meijer, Chem.Comm., 4613-4615 (2008).
    5. Synthesis and thermal studies of aliphatic polyurethane dendrimers: a geometric approach to the Flory-Fox equation for dendrimer glass transition temperatures, A.Stoddart, W.J. Feast and S.P. Rannard, Soft Matter, 8, 1096-1108 (2012)
    6. Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerisation in the Synthesis of Conjugated Polymers, W.J. Feast in Polymer Science: a Comprehensive Reference, Amsterdam, Elsevier BV, Eds K. Matyjaszewski and M. Möller, Vol 4, 661-678 (2012).

    Research Interests

    • Biomaterials
    • Crystal growth control
    • Electroactive polymers
    • Polymer synthesis and characterisation
    • Polymers with novel topologies, hyperbranched and dendritic systems
    • Ring opening metathesis polymerisation


    Journal Article

    • Kunamaneni, S., Buzza, D.M.A., Read, D.J., Parker, D., Kenwright, A.M., Feast, W.J. & Larsen, A.L. (2006). Entanglement transition of randomly branched polymers in the hyperbranched class. Macromolecules 39(19): 6720-6736.
    • Surin, M., Leclere, P., de Feyter, S., Abdel-Mottaleb, M.M.S., de Schryver, F.C., Henze, O., Feast, W.J. & Lazzaroni, R. (2006). Molecule-molecule versus molecule-substrate interactions in the assembly of oligothiophenes at surfaces. Journal of physical chemistry B 110(15): 7898-7908.
    • Stickler, D.J., Lear, J.C., Morris, N.S., Macleod, S.M., Downer, A., Cadd, D.H. & Feast, W.J. (2006). Observations on the adherence of Proteus mirabilis onto polymer surfaces. Journal of applied microbiology 100(5): 1028-1033.
    • S. Westenhoff, A. Abrusci, W.J. Feast, O. Henze, A.F.M. Kilbinger, A. Schenning & C. Silva (2006). Supramolecular electronic coupling in chiral oligothiophene nanostructnres. Advanced materials 18(10): 1281-1285.
    • Feast, W.J., Gimeno, M. & Kenwright, A.M. (2006). Synthesis and radical polymerization of 1,1-difluoro-2-vinylcyclopropane a reexamination and structural reassignment. Macromolecules 39(12): 4076-4080.
    • Feast, W.J., Gimeno, M. & Kenwright, A.M. (2006). Synthesis and radical ring opening behaviour of 1,1-difluoro-2-heptyl-2-vinylcyclopropane and some of its isomers. Journal of flourine chemistry 127(12): 1533-1539.

    Conference Paper

    • A.P. Narrainen, L.R. Hutchings, W.J. Feast, R.L. Thompson, I.A. Ansari & N. Clarke (2006), Fluorocarbon end-functionalized polymers from poly(arylether) dendritic initiators, 231: 8th Conference on Macromolecules - Polymers for Africa. La Pirogue, MAURITANIA, La Pirogue, 103-109.
    • W.J. Feast (2006), Synthesis and self assembly of chiral oligothiophenes: Recent developments in the Durham-Eindhoven collaboration, 231: 231st National Meeting of the American-Chemical-Society. Atlanta, GA, Atlanta GA.

    Media Contacts

    Available for media contact about:

    • Industry & University: Director, Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Polymer Science & Technology
    • Industry & University: polymer synthesis specifically/polymer science generally
    • Industry: Chemicals, plastics, oil & gas: Director, Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Polymer Science & Technology
    • Industry: Chemicals, plastics, oil & gas: polymer synthesis specifically/polymer science generally
    • Chemistry: Director, Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Polymer Science & Technology
    • Chemistry: polymer synthesis specifically/polymer science generally