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. We are investigating bioactive polyelectrolytes for tissue engineering and other applications.


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


Materials Chemists in Liverpool

Peter Budd gaver a talk and Tom Raine presented a poster at the International Conference on Materials Chemistry (MC13) in Liverpool, 10-13 July 2017.

PhD success

Congratulations to Rebecca Dey on achieving her PhD.

Graphene membranes video

A video about graphene-based membranes has been viewed over 87,000 times. You can see it on YouTube or on the graphene website.

SynFabFun in the Peak

Members of the SynFabFun consortium gathered for a workshop in March 2017 at Shrigley Hall, on the edge of the Peak District. The SynFabFun Programme Grant brings together researchers from Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Bath and Imperial College, working on membrane synthesis, fabrication and application.

Membranes in Saudi Arabia

Peter Budd spoke at a research conference of the Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).


A paper in the Journal of Membrane Science reports nanocomposite membranes of the polymer PIM-1 with polyhedral oligomeric phenethyl-silsesquioxanes (POSS)

Pulling an alcohol out of water

Two papers in the Journal of Membrane Science describe research on membranes for the energy-efficient recovery of biobutanol. One shows that the addition of graphene-like fillers to a polymer of intrinsic microporosity (PIM) can enhance the separation. The other shows that thin films of a PIM in a composite structure can give membranes with high productivity.

Separating colours

A paper in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science shows how a polymer of intrinsic microporosity (PIM) can be modified in different ways, in order to isolate different types of dye.

Materials researchers meet in Boston

Peter Budd gave an invited lecture at the Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting in Boston, USA, 27 Nov - 2 Dec 2016.

Speaking in Schools

An academic guest lecture on "Giant Molecules and 2D Materials" teaches young people about our research. We have visited Audenshaw School, Buxton Cummunity School, Al-Jimiatul Islamiyah School in Bolton, and Giggleswick School.

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 supported 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.

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."

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.


Updated 21 July 2017

Copyright © 2006 - 2017 Peter M. Budd


Graphene membrane video

Graphene's potential to provide drinking water

Peter Budd talks to Polymer Chemistry

Macromolecules 22 June 2010