We combine small molecule self-assembly with polymer chemistry to produce single-chain polymeric nanoparticles (SCPNs). Our aim is to explore the limits of SCPNs in terms of structural control, characterisation and utilisation. Hereto, we work towards the controlled folding of synthetic polymers with the aim to achieve nanoparticles with improved conformational control. Responsiveness to the environment, folding and unfolding on demand, and control of shape are some of the topics we work on.
Compartmentalized SCPNs also allow for the incorporation of hydrophobic dyes. When emitters and sensitizers are properly selected, SCPNs can be used as carrier materials for up-conversion in water. These can be used for photocatalysis in water using ambient sunlight.