Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Visiting Professor



+44 (0)20 7594 5790c.k.williams Website




317 RCS1ChemistrySouth Kensington Campus





Charlotte Williams is Professor of Catalysis and Polymer Chemistry. Her group is multidisciplinary and currently consists of 7 postdocs and 11 PhD students. Research in polymer chemistry within her group includes the synthesis of polymerisation catalysts, controlled polymerisations, catalytic activation of renewable resources, synthesis of biodegradable and biocompatible polymers for applications in medicine and the synthesis of electroactive polymers for applications in electronics.

She was worked at Imperial since 2003 (2003-7: Lecturer; 2007-9: Senior Lecturer; 2009-2012: Reader; 2012: Professor).  Before this, she was a postdoctoral research associate at Cambridge University, working with Professor Andrew Holmes and Professor Richard Friend on the synthesis of electroactive polymers, and at the University of Minnesota, working with Marc Hillmyer and Bill Tolman in zinc catalysis. She did her PhD research at Imperial College in catalysis working with Vernon Gibson and Nick Long.

She has been recognised for her research by the BEPS Oustanding Early Career Academic Award 2011, the RSC Energy, Environment and Sustainability Award (2009), the Meldola Medal (2005) and the Young Researcher Award (2001).


Recent News

London Design Museum Exhibition Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things (Interview in the Plastics section):

Charlotte Promoted to Professor in 2012:

Macromolecules discussion guest on  In Our Time on BBC Radio 4, 29/12/12

the Bio-Environmental Polymer Society Award (2011):

(Award Address at the BEPS meeting in Vienna, September 2011)

Royal Society of Chemistry Energy, Environment and Sustainability Award Symposium (10 March 2010, York)

Read about our recent developments in preparing degradable polymers:

PhD Studentships available for October 2014 in  Catalysis and Polymer Synthesis
For more details please email



Lindeboom W, Deacy AC, Phanopoulos A, et al., 2023, Correlating Metal Redox Potentials to Co(III)K(I) Catalyst Performances in Carbon Dioxide and Propene Oxide Ring Opening Copolymerization., Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, Vol:62

McGuire TM, Buchard A, Williams C, 2023, Chemical Recycling of Commercial Poly(l-lactic acid) to l-Lactide Using a High-Performance Sn(II)/Alcohol Catalyst System., J Am Chem Soc

Fiorentini F, Diment WT, Deacy AC, et al., 2023, Understanding catalytic synergy in dinuclear polymerization catalysts for sustainable polymers., Nat Commun, Vol:14

Vidal F, Smith S, Williams CK, 2023, Ring Opening Copolymerization of Boron-Containing Anhydride with Epoxides as a Controlled Platform to Functional Polyesters., J Am Chem Soc, Vol:145, Pages:13888-13900

Cowie BE, Häfele L, Phanopoulos A, et al., 2023, Matched ligands for small, stable colloidal nanoparticles of copper, cuprous oxide and cuprous sulfide, Chemistry: a European Journal, Vol:29, ISSN:0947-6539, Pages:1-18

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