Steve Kelly

Professor Stephen M Kelly

Professor of Organic and Materials Chemistry

Faculty of Science and Engineering

01482 466347

Professor Kelly is one of only three chemists to report the synthesis of over 3,000 liquid crystals described in over 160 peer-reviewed publications, 45 conference papers and book chapters, an RSC Monograph as well as over 75 patents.
An active member of the Nanotechnology and Materials research theme his research interests include: organic electroluminescence, organic photovoltaics, mesoporous non-oxide ceramics, organic/inorganic nanocomposites and semiconductor nanocrystals.

Professor Kelly is a co-founder of Polar OLED, a spin-out company from the University of Hull, which is developing OLED technology in partnership with the IP Group.


Research Interests

Organic electroluminescence

Organic photovoltaics

Cellulose-stabilised nanocomposites

Mesoporous non-oxide ceramics

Semiconductor nanocrystals

Research groups

Colaboration with Professor A Merlo, Chemistry Institute, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil


Ordered Materials for Organic Electronics and Photonics, M. O’Neill and S. M. Kelly, Adv. Mater., 37, 1289, 2011.

Synthesis of Aqueous Colloidal Solutions of Silver Nanoparticles Using Aminocellulose as a Combined Reducing and Capping Reagent, F. Cheng, J. Betts, S. M. Kelly, J. Schaller and T. Heinze, Green Chemistry, 15, 989-998, 2013.

Whiter, Brighter and More Stable Cellulose Paper Coated with TiO2/SiO2 Core/Shell Nanoparticles on Paper Using a Layer-By-Layer Approach, F. Cheng, S. M. Sajadin, A. Kornherr and S. M. Kelly, ChemSusChem., 6, 1392-1399, 2013.

Green Synthesis of Cellulose-a-lipoate-sulfate (CLS), its Sulphonate and Aqueous, Colloidal Solutions of CLS-stabilised Gold Nanoparticles, V. Sarbova, A. Koschella, F. Cheng, S. M. Kelly and T. Heinze,Carbohyd. Polym., 124, 117-124, 2015.

Synthesis and Antibacterial Effects of Cobalt-cellulose Magnetic Nanocomposites, N. S. Alahmadi, J. W. Betts, F. Cheng, M. G. Francesconi, S. M. Kelly, A. Kornherr, T. J. Prior and J. D. Wadhawan, RSC Advances, 7, 20020-20026, 2017.


Research PhDs

Completed PhDs 

W. L. Duffy "Novel Nematic Liquid Crystals for Display Applications", 2000.

D. D. Parghi "Anferroelectric Liquid Crystals: Hosts and Binary Mixtures", 2000.

G. J. Richards, "Electroluminescent Liquid Crystals for Polarised Emission", 2001.

A. J. Eastwood "Electroluminescent Liquid Crystals for OLEDs", 2002.

J. H. Wild "Flexoelectric Liquid Crystals for Flat Panel Display Devices", 2002.

N. L. Campbell "Liquid Crystals for Liquid Crystal Display Devices", 2003.

C. Fang-He [Wu] "Columnar and Polycatenar Liquid Crystals", 2003.

P. Vlachos "Electroluminescent Heterocyclic Liquid Crystals for OLEDs", 2003.

M. P. Aldred, "Electroluminescent Liquid Crystals for OLEDs", 2004.

N. Sultana, "Columnar Liquid Crystals for OLEDs", 2005.

N. Aziz, "Flexoelectric Liquid Crystals", 2006.

A. Löbbert, "Photoalignment Layers for LCDs", 2006.

M. O. Piepenbrock, “Cadmium and Mercury Telluride: Synthesis, Properties and Potential Applications”, 2006.

S. P. Kitney “Electroluminescent Liquid Crystals for OLEDs”, 2007.

M. S. Dixon “The Synthesis of Liquid Crystalline Materials for Organic Semiconductor Device Applications”, 2009.

J. Betts, “Microreactor synthesis of labelled polyphenols: a route to antibacterial modes of action in important hospital pathogens”, 2012.

G. T. R. Chaplain, “Development of a Continuous Flow Microreactor for Chemical synthesis with In-line Catalysis, Heating and Detection ”, 2013.

N. S. M. AlAhmadi “Nanoparticles/Polysaccharide Nanocomposites for Water Purification”, 2014.

W. Bao “Liquid Crystalline Organic Semiconductors for Application in Opto-electronic Devices”, 2014.

M. Reddy Billa, “Liquid Crystalline Organic Semiconductors for Application in Opto-electronic Devices”, 2015.

S. M. Sajedin “Cellulose/Titanium Dioxide Nanocomposites and Silicon Diimide Gel as a Stationary Phase for Chromatography”, 2015.

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

BSc (Sheffield), MSc (Hull), PhD (Hull)

Awards and accolades

Invited speaker and plenary lecturer at many international conferences including:

"Liquid Crystals: from Butterflies to iPads" presented as the Opening Public Lecture on Crystallography presented at the Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, London, UK, 2014 and as an Invited Lecture, Universities Week: Ideas for Life presented at the National History Museum, London, UK, 2014.

"Liquid Crystalline Organic Semiconductors" with Professor M O'Neill, presented as an Invited Lecture, SCI at the “Organic Chemistry: New Opportunities for Materials” Conference at Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, London, UK, 2014.

"Liquid Crystalline Organic Semiconductors" with Professor M O'Neill, presented as a Keynote Lecture: 10th Ibero American Conference on Complex Fluids and their Applications, Florianopolis, Brazil, 2015.