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Long Lin

Professor of Colour & Polymer Science

"My research covers speciality organic materials; novel dyes and pigments; anti-counterfeit technology and print and packaging, including printed electronics and imaging systems."
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Colour and Polymer Science

Coloured threads

The Department of Colour Science was founded at Leeds in 1879, and joined the School of Chemistry in 2009. The Colour and Polymer Science group within Colour Science carries out globally leading research in applied colour creation and colour application.  This is largely achieved through extensive industrially collaborative research activities, aimed at providing novel, science-based solutions for industry. 

The group has particular expertise in the following areas of applied research.

Colour chemistry

The focus is on the design, synthesis, evaluation of novel colorants and their applications across important, wide ranging scientific and technological fields.  Themes of particular interest include:

  • Novel photochromic and thermochromic molecules for anti-counterfeit applications;
  • Novel dyes for the environmentally friendly coloration of textile fabrics;
  • Biological colorants and their applications in photo-medical treatments;
  • Functional organic dyes and their use in nano-technological products.


Polymer chemistry

This theme covers the design, synthesis and characterisation of both monomers and macromolecules, in order to generate functional polymers and polymer-containing materials on the basis of targeted applicability and application.  Particular interests lie in the following areas.

  • Design and development of novel monomers for use in controlled polymerisation reactions to yield highly multifunctional polymers;
  • Synthesis of biodegradable polymers for biomedical and the more industrial applications;
  • Synthesis and development of flame retardant, intumescent hydrogel compositions for use in extreme environments;
  • Polymeric membranes for healthcare applications.


Surface coatings

The research programmes concerning surface coatings (inks, paints, cosmetics, coatings for pharmaceuticals, structural materials and so on) are varied and yet have consistent themes.  Emphasis lies in formulation creation, optimisation and characterisation with respect to fitness for purpose for the designed application.  The  themes of research include designed polymer synthesis and conversion, rheological properties, migration phenomena, ageing effects, controlled delivery, appropriate mechanical and dynamic priorities, and end of life strategies (waste handling).

  • Study of migration phenomena in/to/from coatings based on composite formulations as used on metallic containers, plastics and other materials;
  • High barrier for architectural applications;
  • Coatings for use in controlled drug delivery applications and for other biomedical applications;
  • Recycling strategies for waste polymeric materials, including coatings.


Printed electronics

The group has developed expertise in the following areas of printed electronics, all of which play import roles in increasingly important future technologies for consumer and healthcare products:

  • Design and synthesis of high performance semi-conductor molecules;
  • Formulation of conductive and dielectric inks;
  • Development of point-of-care medical diagnostic sensors;
  • Development of ultrathin, high performance lithium ion batteries.


The group also prides itself in having a track record of successful provision of technical services to industry through the Colour Science Analytical centre and the Centre of Industrial Collaboration.  The group also hosts the Colour and Textile Science centre and also plays an active role in the High Value Chemical Manufacturing hub.  Externally, the group plays important roles in a significant number of learned societies including Oil & Colour Chemists Association, Society of Dyers and Colourists, Society for Imaging Science & Technology, and Institute of Physics.  The group benefits from significant research and scholarship support from charitable organisations including The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers of the City of London and The Worshipful Company of Dyers of the City of London.

Across the group, there exists a growing range of research facilities including:

  • Scanning Electron Microscopy / Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectrometry; Hot-stage optical microscopy;
  • Thermal Analysis – Differential Scanning Calorimetry, Thermogravimetric Analysis;
  • Particle Size Analysis;
  • Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectrometry;
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and FT-Raman spectroscopy;
  • Capillary Electrophoresis;
  • Rheology / Viscometry;
  • UV-VIS-NIR Spectrophotometry and UV-VIS with peltier stage
  • High resolution, 3D opto-digital imaging system;
  • Suite for the evaluation of printed electronic transistors;
  • Suite of equipment for droplet delivery;
  • Suite for the evaluation of printability and quality of printed images.


The group offers a unique taught MSc programme in Polymers, Colorants and Fine Chemicals.  The range of PhD projects available is comprehensive.  Potential projects can be found on the Project opportunities page and through links from individual staff research pages.

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