Dr Matthew Tonge



BSc University of Sydney

BSc (Hons 1), Australian National University. "Electron Spin Resonance Studies of the Free Radical Polymerisation of Methyl Methacrylate: Structure of the Propagating Radical and a Kinetic Analysis"

PhD (Polymer Chemistry), University of Sydney, 1999. "The Influence of Small Molecule Diffusion on Free Radical Polymerisation Kinetics in Glassy Polymers"(supervisor: R. G. Gilbert)

Research interests

  • Free radical polymerisation: fundamental mechanistic studies, methods for measuring reliable rate coefficients, controlled/living radical polymerisation (CRP), applications of theory, mechanistic, and kinetic knowledge to circumvent limitations of synthetic processes.
  • (Mini)emulsion polymerisation: with emphasis on CRP in mini(emulsion) and its effects on kinetics, behaviour, and achieving multiple targeted key process and potential product characteristics.
  • Evolution of complete chain length distributions in CRP reactions in bulk/solution and (mini)emulsion: fundamental importance/understanding and influence on properties, quantification, and novel methods for controlling outputs.
  • Use of CRP polymers as a sensitive probe of key correlations between polymer chain characteristics (e.g. chain length distribution) and physical/chemical properties. Delivering target performance characteristics by CRP and hybrid systems.
  • Diffusion in polymeric and oligomeric matrices.

Other activities

Committee member for IUPAC working parties for two projects (Polymer Division):

  • Establishment of quantitative reliability of electron spin resonance techniques for polymerization kinetics
  • Towards a holistic mechanistic model for reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerizations: Dithiobenzoates as mediating agents


Journal articles


Etmimi H.M., Tonge M.P., Sanderson R.D. (2011) Synthesis and Characterization of Polystyrene-Graphite Nanocomposites via Surface RAFT-Mediated Miniemulsion Polymerization. J. Polym. Sci. Part A: Polym. Chem. Edn.49, 1621 - 1632. (ERA 2010 ranking A)


Saoud F.M., Tonge M.P., Weber W.G., Sanderson R.D. (2008) Magnetite Nanoparticles for the Preparation of Ultrapure RAFT Polymers. Macromolecules 41, 1598 - 1600. (ERA 2010 ranking A*)

Aungsupravate O., Lucas D., Hassan N.A., Tonge M.P., Warrender G., Castignolles P., Gaborieau M., Gilbert R.G. (2008) Water vapour transmission in butadiene-MMA-methacrylic acid latex films. European Polymer Journal 44, 342 - 356. (ERA 2010 ranking A)


Kubota N., Kajiwara A., Zetterlund P.B., Kamachi M., Treurnicht J., Tonge M.P., Gilbert R.G., Yamada B. (2007) Determination of the propagation rate coefficient of vinyl pivalate based on EPR quantification of the propagating radical concentration. Macromol. Chem. Phys. 208, 2403 - 2411. (ERA 2010 ranking B)


Mange S., Tonge M.P., Sanderson R.D. (2006) Synthesis and Homopolymerization of the Olefin-Derived Acrylic Monomer, 1-Methyl-1-Propyl-Hexyl Acrylate. E-Polymers no. 004. (ERA 2010 ranking C)

McLeary J.B., Tonge M.P., Klumperman B. (2006) A Mechanistic Interpretation of Initialization Processes in RAFT-Mediated Polymerization. Macromol. Rapid Comm. 27, 1233 - 1240. (ERA 2010 ranking A)

Barner-Kowollik C., Buback M., Charleux B., Coote M.L., Drache M., Fukuda T., Goto A., Klumperman B., Lowe A.B., McLeary J.B., Moad G., Monteiro M.J., Sanderson R.D., Tonge M.P., Vana P. (2006) Mechanism and Kinetics of Dithiobenzoate-Mediated RAFT Polymerization. I. The Current Situation. J. Polym. Sci. Part A: Polym. Chem. Edn. 44, 5809 - 5831. (ERA 2010 ranking A)

Tonge M.P., Calitz F.M., Sanderson R.D. (2006) ESR Detection of Propagating Radical Species during RAFT-Mediated Polymerization. Macromol. Chem. Phys. 207, 1852 - 1860. (ERA 2010 ranking B)


Seabrook S.A., Tonge M.P., Gilbert R.G. (2005) Pulsed laser polymerization study of the propagation kinetics of acrylamide in water. J. Polym. Sci. Part A: Polym. Chem. Edn. 43, 1357-1368. (ERA 2010 ranking A)

McLeary J.B., Calitz F.M., McKenzie J.M., Tonge M.P., Sanderson R.D., Klumperman B. (2005) Beyond inhibition: A 1H NMR investigation of the early kinetics of RAFT mediated polymerization with different initiating and leaving groups. Macromolecules 38, 3151-3161. (ERA 2010 ranking A*)

Seabrook S.A., Pascal P., Tonge M.P., Gilbert R.G. (2005) Termination Rate Coefficients for Acrylamide in the Aqueous Phase at Low Conversion. Polymer 46, 9562 - 9573. (ERA 2010 ranking A)


McLeary J.B., Tonge M.P., de Wet-Roos D., Sanderson R.D., Klumperman B. (2004) Controlled radical reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization in high surfactant concentration ionic miniemulsions. J. Polym. Sci., Polym. Chem. Ed. 42, 960-974. (ERA 2010 ranking A)

Sprong E., de Wet-Roos D., Tonge M.P., Sanderson R.D. (2004) Solution and Latex properties of Model Alkali-Soluble Rheology Modifiers, synthesized via the RAFT Process, and the Effect of Ethylene Oxide Chain Length on the Rheological Properties. J. Polym. Sci., Polym. Phys. Ed. 42, 2502-2512. (ERA 2010 ranking A)

Vosloo J.J., Tonge M.P., Fellows C.M., D'Agosto F., Sanderson R.D., Gilbert R.G. (2004) Synthesis of comb-like poly(butyl methacrylate) using reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) and an activated ester. Macromolecules 37, 2371-2382. (ERA 2010 ranking A*)

McLeary J.B., Calitz F.M., McKenzie J.M., Tonge M.P., Sanderson R.D., Klumperman B. (2004) Beyond inhibition: A 1H NMR investigation of the early kinetics of RAFT mediated polymerization with the same initiating and leaving groups. Macromolecules 37, 2383-2394. (ERA 2010 ranking A*)

McLeary J.B., McKenzie J.M., Tonge M.P., Sanderson R.D., Klumperman B. (2004) Initialisation in RAFT-mediated polymerisation of methyl acrylate. Chem. Comm. 17, 1950-1951. (ERA 2010 ranking A*)


Sprong E., de Wet-Roos D., Tonge M.P., Sanderson R.D. (2003) Synthesis, Characterization, and Rheological Properties of Model Alkali-Soluble Rheology Modifiers, Synthesized by Reversible Addition Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT) Polymerization. Journal of Polymer Science, A: Polymer Chemistry 41, 223-235. (ERA 2010 ranking A)

Calitz F.M., Tonge M.P., Sanderson R.D. (2003) Kinetic and Electron Spin Resonance Analysis of RAFT Polymerization of Styrene. Macromolecules 36, 5-8. (ERA 2010 ranking A*)

Tonge M.P., McLeary J.B., Vosloo J.J., Sanderson R.D. (2003) RAFT Polymerisation in Dispersed Systems. Macromolecular Symposia 193, 289-304. (ERA 2010 ranking C)

Tichagwa L., Götz C., Tonge M., Sanderson R., Pasch H. (2003) The use of Selected Acrylate and Acrylamide-based Surfmers and Polysoaps in the Emulsion Polymerization of Styrene. Macromolecular Symposia 193, 251-260. (ERA 2010 ranking C)

Calitz F.M., Tonge M.P., Sanderson R.D. (2003) Electron Spin Resonance Studies of Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Transfer Polymerization. Macromolecular Symposia 193, 277-288. (ERA 2010 ranking C)

Strauch J., McDonald J., Chapman B.E., Kuchel P.W., Hawkett B.S., Roberts G.E., Tonge M.P., Gilbert R.G. (2003) Diffusion coefficients of monomer and oligomers in hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA). J Polym. Sci. Polym. Chem. Ed. 41, 2491-2501. (ERA 2010 ranking A)

Calitz F.M., McLeary J.B., McKenzie J.M., Tonge M.P., Klumperman B., Sanderson R.D. (2003) Evidence for Termination of Intermediate Radical Species in RAFT-Mediated Polymerization. Macromolecules 36, 9687-9690. (ERA 2010 ranking A*)


Vosloo J.J., de Wet-Roos D., Tonge M.P., Sanderson R.D. (2002) Controlled Free Radical Polymerization in Water-borne Dispersion Using Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT). Macromolecules 35, 4894-4902. (ERA 2010 ranking A*)


Tonge M.P., Gilbert R.G. (2001) Testing models for penetrant diffusion in glassy polymers. Polymer 42, 501-13. (ERA 2010 ranking A)

Tonge M.P., Gilbert R.G. (2001) Testing free volume theory for penetrant diffusion in rubbery polymers. Polymer 42, 1393-1405. (ERA 2010 ranking A)

Monteiro M.J., Subramaniam N., Taylor J.R., Pham B.T., Tonge M.P., Gilbert R.G. (2001) Retardative Chain Transfer in Free Radical Polymerizations of Vinyl neo-decanoate in low molecular weight Polyisoprene and Toluene. Polymer 42, 2403-11. (ERA 2010 ranking A)

Couvreur L., Piteau G., Castignolles P., Tonge M., Coutin B., Charleux B., Vairon J.P. (2001) Pulsed-laser radical polymerization and propagation kinetic parameters of some alkyl acrylates. Macromolecular Symposia 174, 197-207. (ERA 2010 ranking C)


Tonge M.P., Stubbs J.M., Sundberg D.C., Gilbert R.G. (2000) Penetrant diffusion in poly(methyl methacrylate) near Tg: dependence on temperature and polymer weight fraction. Polymer 41, 3659-70. (ERA 2010 ranking A)

Pham B.T., Tonge M.P., Monteiro M.J., Gilbert R.G. (2000) Grafting kinetics of Vinyl neo-Decanoate onto Polybutadiene. Macromolecules 33, 2383-90. (ERA 2010 ranking A*)


Tonge M.P., Kajiwara A., Kamachi M., Gilbert R.G. (1998) ESR Measurements of Propagation Rate Coefficients for Styrene Free Radical Polymerisation. Polymer 39 (11), 2305. (ERA 2010 ranking A)


Tonge M., Pace R., Gilbert R. (1994) EPR investigation of the nature of the propagating species in MMA polymerization. Macromol. Chem. Phys. 195, 3159-72.