Two-photon bone imaging research highlighted by Chem

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Our paper “Two-Photon Luminescent Bone Imaging Using Europium Nanoagents“, published last year in Cell Press’ journal Chem, was highlighted by the journal as one of six papers from 2016 that was of particular scientific importance. Once again, congrats to Esther and Steve on their work.


Review on Luminescent Metal-based Anion sensors on Coordination Chemistry Reviews

Congratulations to Anna and Dermot on the publication of their new review “Luminescent/colorimetric probes and (chemo-) sensors for detecting anions based on transition and lanthanide ion receptor/binding complexes” focusing on the recent highlights of metal complexes as luminescent probes for anions in Coordination Chemistry Reviews. Their review (87 references) describes key advances from the last five years in the use and mechanisms of main block, d– and f– metals in the design of luminescent probes for anion guests of both environmental and biological relevance.

Anna and Dermot are both PhD students and spearhead the TG groups own anion recognition research interests, studying the anion-directed self-assembly of interlocked systems such as [n]catenanes and rotaxanes while also providing support to others in the group to study anion interactions of their own systems.  Their research is kindly supported by the School of Chemistry (A.A.) and the Irish Research Council (D.G.) which supports our other IRC and SFI funded projects. Well done to all involved.

Fergus is presented with the 2017 IUPAC-Solvay International Award for Young Chemists


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Many congratulations to Dr Fergus Poynton, who was presented with the IUPAC-Solvay International Award for Young Chemists by the president of IUPAC, Natalia Tarasova at the opening ceremony of the 46th World Chemistry Congress  last week. The acclaimed award is given each year to the best PhD theses in the chemical sciences worldwide, and Fergus received it alongside the remainder of the winners from both 2016 and 2017.

The week-long conference was held in São Paulo, Brazil, and included other such highlights as lectures by Nobel laureates Ada Yonath, Fraser Stoddart and Robert Huber, along with a series of symposia on Environmental Chemistry, ‘Big Data’, and Women in Chemistry.

Fergus received the 2016 Royal Irish Academy Young Chemists Prize in June for his doctoral thesis “Spectroscopic Investigations into the Excited-State Processes and Reactivity of Ruthenium(II) Polypyridyl Complexes”.

Bruno flies to Southampton


Bruno with Rob Laverick and Jon Kitchen


Work at the Langmuir-Blodgett trough

Second year PhD student Bruno D’Agostino visited the University of Southampton last week as part of a collaboration with Dr Jon Kitchen on lanthanide-based Langmuir-Blodgett films. He also attended the day-long 2017 Southampton Supramolecular Symposium on Friday, which was organised by the Kitchen and Goldup groups in Southampton.

Isabel wins a poster prize at Supramolecular Chemistry Ireland 2017 at Maynooth


The Gunnlaugsson Group attended the Supramolecular Chemistry Ireland (SCI 2017) conference in Maynooth University yesterday. The conference, organised by former group member Dr Rob Elmes, brought together an array of international speakers for a jam-packed day of lectures and short talks.

Several members of the group presented their work at the poster session, with second year PhD student Hannah Dalton giving a flash talk on “Metallosupramolecular assemblies of a family of N,N,Oterdentate ligands”, work which was recently published in Crystal Growth and Design.

Many congratulations to Isabel Hegarty, who beat a tough field to win the prize for best poster, for her poster entitled “Lanthanide Directed Self-Assembly of a Series of btp Derivatives”

Fergus presented with the RIA Young Chemist Prize

Congratulations to Dr Fergus Poynton, who was formally presented with the RIA Young Chemist Prize today. The prize is awarded annually by the Royal Irish Academy for the most outstanding chemistry thesis in Ireland.

Fergus won the prize in March for his thesis “Spectroscopic Investigations into the Excited-State Processes and Reactivity of Ruthenium(II) Polypyridyl Complexes”, he has since won one of the five IUPAC-Solvay International Awards for Young Chemists, and will receive the prize at the 46th IUPAC World Chemistry Congress in São Paulo this July.

In a special ceremony in the Academy, the prize was presented by Prof. Pat Guiry, Vice-Chair of the Physical, Chemical & Mathematical Sciences of the RIA. The ceremony was also attended by Fergus’ family and friends, as well as collaborators Clive Williams, TCD and Susan Quinn from UCD, co-supervisor John Kelly and his colleagues from the Donnelly research group in the School of Medicine.

Well done!

New publication in Chemical Communications


A sample of the naphthalimide-based hydrogel

Congratulations to Chris and Amy from the TG group, as well as collaborators Kevin Byrne and Prof. Wolfgang Schmitt (TCD School of Chemistry and CRANN) and Dr Gavin Ryan and Prof. Matthias Möbius (TCD School of Physics) for their recent publication in Chemical Communications entitled “A resilient and luminescent stimuli-responsive hydrogel from a heterotopic 1,8-naphthalimide-derived ligand”. This work describes the synthesis of a fluorescent naphthalimide-containing gelator which forms robust hydrogels in the presence of potassium ions. As well as a rare example of a hydrogelator containing no hydrogen bond donors, this material exhibits the useful property of chemical reversibility, where 18-crown-6 and potassium chloride can be used to disrupt or re-form the gel, respectively.