Welcome from the TG Group!

TG Group Photo

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:


Deirdre takes part in the Spectroscopy in a Suitcase workshop

Our first year student Deirdre co-facilitated RSC’s Spectroscopy In A Suitcase workshop to the 6th year Chemistry class at St. Paul’s College today in Raheny. The students solved a Murder Mystery while being introduced to different analytical tools including mass spectrometry, IR and UV-Vis spectroscopy.

St Pauls

New Paper on Dalton Transactions!

Many congratulations to Hannah, Amy and Chris (http://hawesgroup.wordpress.com) on their paper that has been accepted for publication in Dalton Transactions, entitled: “Exploring the reversible host–guest chemistry of a crystalline octanuclear Ag(I) metallosupramolecular macrocycle formed from a simple pyrazinylpyridine ligand”. This exciting work was developed by Hannah and Chris in collaboration with Brendan Twamley, Kevin Byrne and Wolfgang Schmitt (Dalton Trans. DOI:10.1039/c8dt04583f). This highly novel work focusses on the use of some 2-(2′-pyrazinyl)pyridine based building blocks, that we have been developing in the TG laboratory and their coordination chemistry with Cu(II) and Ag(I) ions. This has lead to the discovery of metallosupramolecular architectures that have some surprising complexity; some of these systems (the metallosupramolecular macrocycles) being employed in this Dalton contribution for carrying out solvent exchange in a single-crystal-to-single-crystal transformation as demonstrated in the figure below.

Crystal to Crystal Hannah Dalton Trans

Well done and special congratulations for Hannah for her first “Dalton on Dalton” paper!


New work on 2-picolyl derived naphthalene diimide and bis-phthalimide ligands accepted

Many congratulations to June, now in her second PhD year, who has had her paper with Chris Hawes (former member of the TG Group and now and independent lecturer at the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Keele University, UK, named “Crystallographic studies of 2-picolyl substituted naphthalene diimide and bis-phthalimide ligands and their supramolecular coordination chemistry”, accepted for publication in CrystEngComm (DOI: 10.1039/C8CE01756E). This work is another excellent outcome of a very fruitful collaboration between the group and Chris, based on exploring the supramolecular application of naphthalene-based building blocks with various d-metal ions, featuring extended analysis of the various complexes formed by using single crystal structure analysis, but Chris was instrumental (as well as Brendan Twamley) in training several members of the TG group in carrying out their own X-ray analysis.Cryst

Good job!

New work on the luminescent sensing of organic solvents accepted

Many congratulations to Sachi, Bruno and David, who have had their paper on the generation of highly luminescent functional solid-state material, “Self-assembled bright luminescent hierarchical materials from a tripodal benzoate antenna and heptadentate Eu(III) and Tb(III) cyclen complexes” accepted in Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering (Front. Chem. Sci. Eng. 2019, DOI:10.1007/s11705-018-1762-3). This work, achieved in collaboration with the Prof. Wolfgang Schmitt research group here at TCD covers the use of self-assembly between cyclen-based lanthanide (Europium and Terbium) complexes and a tripodal ligand which yields a luminescent amorphous material (red and green respectively, as shown below) that can be used for the sensing of solvents such as MeOH, CH3CN and THF.

Sachi + Bruno

Amy Lynes successfully defends her PhD Thesis

The TG group congratulates with Amy, who successfully defended her thesis, “Supramolecular soft materials and structural studies of a series of BTA and pyridine-dicarboxamide derivatives with various d-metal ions”. Amy’s thesis was examined by Prof. Jonathan Steed from Durham University.

Amy’s PhD was funded by the SFI and expanded the work of the group on BTA motif-based molecules which resulted in several paper, the most recent a ChemmCommun. We all at TG group wish together Amy best of luck for her future and whatever it will have in store for her!

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Anna Aletti succesfully defends her PhD Thesis

The whole TG group congratulates with Anna, who succesfully defended her PhD Thesis “Anion-Templated Self-Assembly – From Anion Complexes to the Formation of Supramolecular 2D Networks”. Anna’s Thesis was examined by Prof. Steve Goldup from University of Southampton.
Anna joined the TG group at first as an exchange student, then came back and started her PhD, working on tripodal bta-urea motifs. Sadly, she also leaves the group, and for this we wish her for all the best in her future!


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New Dalton Frontier Article on lanthanide luminescent soft-material published

Many congratulations to Oxana, Sam and Sachi, who had their invited Frontier article accepted in Dalton Transaction, “Recent advances in the development of luminescent lanthanide-based supramolecular polymers and soft materials” (Dalton Trans., 2018, 47, 16377-16387. DOI:10.1039/C8DT03768J). This work reviews some of the most recent use of luminescent lanthanides ions as crosslinking moieties to generate functional soft materials, giving the readership of Dalton a fantastic inside into this fast-growing area of material research.

Oxana, Sam Sachi