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Over the years, an increasing number of groups have been requesting PMMA particles from us. We are very pleased to be able to help in this way, but the number of requests has grown to such a point that we have to recover at least some of our costs. Accordingly, we are going to start charging for supplying PMMA colloids. We stress that we are not starting a 'business' - we are aiming only to cover some of our costs.

If you want particles, please contact Andrew Schofield and tell him the specifications (radius, do you want them to crystallise etc) and the amount (see prices at the end). We will endeavour to synthesize what you want within the constraints of our own requirements. Andrew will let you have an estimate of when he can deliver. If we succeed in delivering what you want, we will invoice your institution according to charges set out at the bottom of this note. (We have set these charges after a consulting some of you; we may have got this wrong - tell us what you think, and we will keep this under review.) If you want something 'non-standard' (inclusion of dyes, non-PHSA stabiliser, non-core, etc.), we can negotiate on a case-by-case basis.

Research groups want PMMA particles for all kinds of reasons. Inevitably, some of the time, this will be for research that may overlap somewhat with what we do here in Edinburgh. Generally we have no problem with that. But in the unlikely, but possible, event that the overlap turns out to be very strong indeed, we may see a conflict of interest and decline to supply particles. (Again: we are not a business, but a university research group willing to serve the community while recovering some costs.) In order to enable us to make this judgement, we would appreciate it if, when you contact us, you could tell us very briefly what the particles are for, at least in general terms, to allow us to form an opinion about potential conflict of interest. In the rare cases where we do perceive a conflict, we may propose to waive the charge and collaborate!

Recent Price Rise Information:- As regular perusers of my webpages may have noticed the price of PMMA colloids has increased by 50%. This has been forced upon us by the ever rising price of raw materials (and the fact that I've been unexpectedly climbing the university pay scale so my time is now more money). Also, as I've not increased the prices, ever, the 'powers that be' have deemed it time I did. I can only emphasize that we are still not trying to make a profit from the sale of colloids, just cover ever-increasing costs.

For any additional information please e-mail me on

If you interested in other areas of complex fluids and wish to make use of the expertise garnered by the university over the years or have access to speciality equipment found within the School of Physics then the Edinburgh Complex Fluid Partnership may be able to help. They offer consultancy services in the renovation, development and processing of formulations involving dispersions, gels, emulsions and pastes and can coordinate equipment hire.

If you would like to see my scientific publication list this can be found by following this link: PUBLICATIONS

Personal Stuff

What do you do on those cold, dark nights of winter? Well, personally I get together with my friends and write a book (I bet you thought I was going to say go down the pub). This fine, extremely amusing tome is titled 'The Quest For The Holy Ale' and the link leads to its own, exclusive web site from which you can read the synopsis, author bios, amusing anecdotes and, if impressed, make a purchase.

The Munro List for those intrepid outdoor people who go off every Sunday into the wilds of Scotland and climb things.

David French thesis