New paper accepted in RSC journal CrystEngComm on the development and supramolecular chemistry of benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxamide (BTA) n-alkyl ester and carboxylic acid derivatives


SEM image of BTA xerogel, with crystal structure, polarised imaging and BTA gel inset left to right.

Well done to Amy and Chris from our research group on their paper “Benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxamide n-alkyl ester and carboxylic acid derivatives: tuneable structural, morphological and thermal properties” which has been accepted for publication in the RSC journal CrystEngComm. The work correlates crystallography and gelation; a phenomenon not much explored to date for BTA ligands. This work is the outcome of a very fruitful collaboration between several research groups from both TCD (Prof. Wolfgang Schmitt and Kevin Byrne form the School of Chemistry, and Prof. Matthias E. Möbius and Benjamin Haffner from the School of Physics) and Durham University, UK (Dr. Robert Pal and Edward N. Ward), and was generously supported by funding from SFI, the IRC, the Royal Society and the ERC.

Leigh’s group make headlines with Octafoil knot


X-ray crystal structure of Leigh’s 819 knot-Fe(II) complex

Leigh and coworkers have created the first example of a molecular ‘octafoil knot’, a novel topology which crosses itself eight times. The work was published in Science last week. This fascinating and beautiful discovery was quickly noticed by NewScientist magazine, who published an article on this step forward in the world of molecular knots and links. Several scientists, including Thorri Gunnlaugsson, were interviewed as part of the article.

Dr Fergus Poynton Graduates (and says Farewell to the TG Group)


Oxana congratulates Fergus on receiving his doctorate.

As part of the Christmas commencements at Trinity College Dublin, Dr Fergus Poynton was conferred with his PhD degree in the Public Theatre.

Everyone in the TG group would like to say a big thanks and goodbye to Fergus, a friend to all of us and an excellent chemist. Fergus’ work on Ru(II) polypyridyl probes has led to a cover article in Nature Chemistry, along with recent publications in Faraday Discussions, Angewandte Chemie and Chemical Science, among others.

Best of luck to Fergus in all his future endeavours. We’ll miss you!

TG Group Attend MASC 2016 in Edinburgh

This year’s Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry (MASC) group meeting was held in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. Several members of the group attended the two-day RSC conference, presenting their work alongside a busy programme of international speakers from Europe, the US, Japan and New Zealand, including one of this year’s Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, Sir Fraser Stoddart.

New Paper for June, Chris and Amy

Congratulations to June Lovitt, Chris Hawes and Amy Lynes on their new paper in Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers, entitled ‘Coordination chemistry of N-picolyl-1,8-naphthalimides: colourful low molecular weight metallo-gelators and unique chelation behaviours‘. June has spent the last six months as a research student in our lab, and has now returned to the University of Southampton to complete her studies. We all hope to see June again soon, but in the meantime we would like to wish her best of luck in all her future endeavours!


Transparant low molecular weight metallogels such as the one pictured (green) were formed from N-picolyl-1,8-naphthalimides

A new paper on monitoring the onset of bacterial infection using lanthanide luminescent probes within hydrogels accepted for publication in JACS


The europium-based luminescence is only quenched when urease enzymes break down urea in the solution

Many congratulations to Esther, Sam and Sandra who had their paper “Luminescent Lanthanide Cyclen-Based Enzymatic Assay Capable of Diagnosing the Onset of Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections Both in Solution and within Polymeric Hydrogels” accepted in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The work focuses on using delayed 
luminescence Eu(III)-based pH-responsive probes to monitor the activity of urease, which hydrolyses urea in
 aqueous solution upon onset of bacterial infection.
 This system can be incorporated into soft polymeric materials such as hydrogels. The work was carried out in collaboration with Prof. Clive Williams of the School of Biochemistry and Immunology in TCD and Prof. Colin McCoy from the School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University of Belfast.

Symposium for Phil Gale

A half-day symposium was held in TBSI on Thursday to celebrate the work and collaborations of Professor Philip A. Gale, a brilliant chemist and the author of many reviews (and the Oxford Chemistry Primer) on supramolecular chemistry. Phil is taking up the position of Head of School in the University of Sydney next year. A great mix of 18 collaborators and friends across Britain and Ireland gave short talks, with an emphasis on the most interesting and fun aspects of their work.

Best of luck to Phil in his new job!

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