TG Group, October 2016. In the Boardroom, TBSI

The TG Supramolecular and Medicinal Chemistry Research Group is based in the School of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin and is at the cutting edge of research into supramolecular structures, sensor design and materials development. The principal investigator is Professor Thorfinnur Gunnlaugsson.

The TG Group is housed in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI), as part of the School of Chemistry. The School is divided between several institutes on and near the main campus, such as the Chemistry Building, the Sami Nasr Institute of Advanced Materials (SNIAM), the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) and TBSI (Map).

Make sure to follow our news and updates below:

New Paper published in Dalton Transactions

Graphical Abstract

Structure of the tetrameric [Zn4(L)4]8+ cation investigated in the work.

Congratulations to Dawn, Chris, Bjørn and Joe for their recent paper in Dalton Transactions titled “A folded [2 × 2] metallo-supramolecular grid from a bis-tridentate (1,2,3-triazol-4-yl)-picolinamide (tzpa) ligand“. In this work, a new flexible bis-tridentate donor ligand containing 1,2,3-triazolyl-picolinamide (tzpa) binding sites was developed, which contained structural elements from two of the group favorites 2,6-dipicolinamide (dpa) and 2,6-bis-(1,2,3-triazolyl)pyridine (btp). The new ligand was then used in the formation of a tetranuclear grid with Zn(II) or Fe(II) ions, which was probed with X-ray diffraction, NMR, UV-Visible spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. It also involved a productive collaboration with Dr Manuel Reuther and Dr John O’Brien from the NMR Spectroscopy Facility in TCD, who provided help in understanding the solution behavior of the material using the T1 spin-lattice relaxation parameter in 1H NMR spectroscopy.

Wedding Congratulations to Sam and Anna!

Many congratulations to Sam and Anna on the occasion of their wedding! The ceremony was held in Anna’s home country of Italy, and several past and present members of the group were lucky enough to celebrate the happy occasion with the newly married couple. We wish you the very best in your life together!

Dr Helen Burke Graduates


Helen with Barry from the Evans group

Congratulations to Helen Burke, who joined the group in 2012 as an IRCSET postgraduate scholar, and officially graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry earlier today. Helen carried out her research on ‘Synthetic Approaches Towards Thioester-Mediated Bioconjugation and Lanthanide-Based Glycoconjugate Probes’ jointly with Eoin Scanlan, producing several publications, the most recent of which appeared in Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry (DOI: 10.1039/C6OB01712F).

Since submitting her thesis, Helen has started work in industry in England. Everyone in the TG group would like to say farewell to Helen and we all wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours!

Eoin and Hannah attend the 16th BCA/CCG Intensive Teaching School in X-ray Structure Analysis


Group Photo: Hannah (three rows back, 5th from right) and Eoin (4th row back, 5th from left)

Eoin Mc Carney and Hannah Dalton recently attended the 16th BCA/CCG Intensive Teaching School in X-ray Structure Analysis. The week-long residential course was held from Saturday 25th March until Sunday 2nd April at Trevelyan College in Durham University. Congratulations to Hannah and Eoin for completing the course!

New paper accepted in Chemical Science on a novel lanthanide-based white-light emitting system


Varying the colour of the emission by altering the molar fraction of europium in the system (𝛘Eu)

Congratulations to Oxana Kotova, Steve Comby and Christophe Lincheneau on their paper entitled “White-light emission from discrete heterometallic lanthanide-directed self-assembled complexes in solution” which has been accepted into the RSC journal Chemical Science. In this work, the newly designed multidentate ligand tdt was used, which provides three individual tridentate binding sites for lanthanide (Ln) ions. White-light emission was successfully achieved by carefully tuning (i) the molar ratio of Eu(III) and Tb(III) within the assembly and thus the relative intensity of the red and green emission, (ii) the excitation wavelength, as the tdt ligand consists of two different chromophores, and (iii) the ligand concentration, which greatly affects the intensity of the blue emission within the overall self-assembled complexes. We envisage that this system can be further developed and find its application as white-light emitting material or as a ratiometric sensor.

Fergus wins the 2016 RIA Young Chemists Prize

We’d like to extend big congratulations to Fergus on winning the 2016 Royal Irish Academy Young Chemists Prize. Fergus received his doctorate in December on Ru(II) polypyridyl DNA-targeting agents.

Fergus will be formally awarded the prize in May, and has been nominated by the RIA for the IUPAC-SOLVAY International Award for Young Chemists. Well done Fergus!