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”

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.

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.

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

Amy and Chris Present at Networking Event

Amy and Chris recently gave talks at the School of Chemistry’s first annual Intra Postgraduate/Post-Doctoral Colloquium Day and Networking Event. The event was well attended by those in the School of Chemistry and many members of the Gunnlaugsson group presented posters in the poster session in the afternoon.

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Also that evening, Amy won the Barry-McCabe Demonstrating prize for teaching first year undergraduates last year. Congratulations to Amy on this wonderful achievement!


Amy (centre) with Head of School Sylvia Draper (third from right), Tom McCabe (second from right) and Brendan Barry (far left)

Chris and Amy appear in The Irish Times

Chris and Amy from the group recently appeared in The Irish Times national newspaper as part of a feature article on an imagery competition, held in Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI), to showcase the variety of research that is currently being carried out within the institute. This competition was part of the 5th anniversary celebrations of TBSI. The composite image made by Chris and Amy was based on soon to be published work on liquid crystal tricarboxamide derivatives developed by the pair, with one of the images used obtained in collaboration with the Pal Group in Durham University. Their contribution is now on show in the foyer of TBSI.

Two publications accepted from the group in Crystal Growth & Design and Chemical Communications

Many congratulations to Chris, Dawn and Salvador who had their paper “Structure direction, solvent effects and anion influences in halogen-bonded adducts of 2,6-bis(iodoethynyl)pyridine” accepted in the ACS journal Crystal Growth & Design and to Esther and Steve who had their paper “Cyclen lanthanide-based micellar structures for application as luminescent [Eu(III)] and magnetic [Gd(III)] resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents” accepted in the RSC journal Chemical Communications. Both papers represent new areas within the TG research group; the former being the first publication from the group on the use of halogen bonding in self-assembly formation, while the latter presents the first examples of the formation of lanthanide based self-assembly micelles. This contribution was also the 200th to be accepted from the TG group. Well done to you all!