Anna speaks at the 13th Italian Conference on Supramolecular Chemistry

4th Year PhD student Anna Aletti travelled from (surprisingly) sunny Dublin to the (exceedingly) sunny south coast of Sardinia on behalf of the group and attended the 13th Italian Conference on Supramolecular Chemistry held from the 18th to the 21st June 2017. Anna, who works on the design of anion receptors and anion-directed materials, gave an oral presentation of her work on interlocked [2]-catenanes based on the BTP motif and their anion binding properties, which was published last year in Angewandte Chemie with Dr Joseph Byrne (now at U. Bern with Prof. Martin Albrecht) and being continued in collaboration with Eoin McCarney, also a 4th year PhD student in the group.

She showcased the groups work and described the self-templated formation of [2]-catenanes from RCM of dimers formed from allyl-appended BTP ligands, which in their macrocyclic and catenated forms showed anion recognition properties.

The conference, organised by Claudia Caltagirone at the University of Cagliari and held on the beautiful Sardinian coast in Santa Margherita di Pula, brought together European and Italian researchers (of which the TG have a number both in the ranks and graduated from the group) from across Italy and some of those researching further afield. Anna, who studied at Università degli Studi di Pavia before arriving to the TG group, was reunited with a number of her former professors including Valeria Amendola and Piersandro Pallavicini, and continues to enjoy the interesting programme of talks from PIs and students of the Italian supramolecular community. (and the weather!)


Group Photo with all delegates (taken from supramol2017 website).

Amy, Anna, Dermot and Sandra present their work at the the Third Year Talks in UCD

On Tuesday 30th May, 3rd year students Anna Aletti, Sandra EstalayoDermot Gillen and Amy Lynes participated in the annual Third Year Talks, which took place at University College Dublin as part of the Dublin Chemistry graduate program. The day gave them the opportunity to present their work and achievements so far in their PhDs to an audience of their peers and academics. The day was supported by Lilly and brought together PhD students from UCD and DIT for a full day featuring 52 talks, spanning all disciplines of chemistry.

Anna and Dermot presented their work on anion receptors and anion-directed self-assembly; Amy talked about the synthesis of BTA gels and soft materials; while Sandra spoke about the design of Ru(II) polypyridyl complexes for biological applications such as photodynamic therapy (PDT).

Congratulations to all who participated. Well done Anna, Dermot, Amy and Sandra for another year of excellent talks from the TG group!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!

Sam, Anna and Dermot teach TY students about molecular logic

As part of the School of Chemisty’s annual Transition Year (TY) programme, Sam, Anna and Dermot gave an interactive demonstration on molecular logic to a group of sixty TY students. This is the second year in a row that the group has presented on smart materials and chemical computation, in an informative lecture that covers the life and legacy of mathematician George Boole, logic gates and the life-saving work of Prof A.P. de Silva in Belfast, and our own group’s work with lanthanides.

The students learned how logical functions operate in a series of interactive exercises, before testing out the gel-based logic gates themselves. The demonstration was originally developed by Sam and Joe as part of Discover Research Dublin 2015, and to mark the 200th birthday of Boole.

New paper in Organic Letters on anion mediated synthesis of 3-amino-[1,2,4]-triazolo pyridines from our group

Many congratulations to present and former members of our group Komala, Anna, Devis, Jon, Miguel and Salvador for their recent publication, Supramolecular Anion Recognition Mediates One-Pot Synthesis of 3-Amino-[1,2,4]-triazolo Pyridines from Thiosemicarbazides, in Organic Letters!. This work was done through a collaboration of Prof. Gunnlaugsson and Prof. Eoin Scanlan and showed how supramolecular interactions with F (as tetrabutylammonium fluoride, TBAF) of a series of thiosemicarbazides could lead to the formation of 3-amino-[1,2,4]-triazolo pyridines. The synthesis of these heterocycles was obtained in a one-pot reaction from variously substituted hydrazine pyridine and isothiocyanates in the presence of TBAF.


Crystal structures of thiosemicarbazides and 3-amino-[1,2,4]-triazolo pyridines.

Anna presents at the ChemSem series in Trinity

Anna Aletti presented her work on Tuesday as part of the ChemSem series of postgraduate seminars organised by the School of Chemistry. Her talk, entitled “Tripodal tris(urea) systems: from anion binding to self-assembly” was attended by a cohort of students and staff from different research groups around Trinity. Brava Anna!


Anna presenting her work on sulfate-templated self-assembly

TG Group attend Supramolecular Chemistry Ireland Symposium in NUI Maynooth

The Gunnlaugsson Group attended the Supramolecular Chemistry Ireland half-day symposium in NUI Maynooth carefully organised to great effect by Dr. Rob Elmes, who obtained his PhD from under Thorri’s supervision and who’s now a Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at the university. The attendees were treated to a tour-de-force of supramolecular chemistry developments from the islands of ireland and Britain and from as far away as Universidad de Santiago de Compostela whence Dr. Miguel Martínez-Calvo made is return having carried out a post-doctoral fellowship in the Gunnlaugsson Group. Miguel spoke about his work on the “Development of new tools in chemical biology: specific transition metal catalysis in the mitochondria”. 

A poster session followed the day’s talks where Dermot Gillen brought home a poster prize for his work entitled “Anion binding of the meta-Phenylene bis(phenylurea) motif“. Congratulations to Dermot and the organisers of the event which was a great success.

Miguel alongside current TG group members

Miguel alongside current TG group members