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.

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”

Dermot presents at the 69th Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium

IMAG3204Dermot Gillen, a third year student in the TG group, was selected as one of six representatives from Trinity College Dublin to present his work at the 69th Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium, which took place over Thursday and Friday of this week in DCU. The conference gathers chemistry postgraduate students from all over Ireland to showcase their work in a highly interdisciplinary setting.

Congratulations to Aoife Lucid from the Watson computational chemistry group in TCD, who won the Lilly prize for her talk on the computational modelling of electrolytes for solid oxide cells.

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!

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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.

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.

Dermot becomes a SFI Smart Futures Ambassador

Dermot attended the SFI Smart Futures ambassador training this week at the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) head office in Dublin. As part of Smart Futures, Dermot will be teaching secondary school students about careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, or STEM.

Smart Futures is coordinated by SFI in partnership with a variety of other groups such as Engineers Ireland, BioPharma Ireland, and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). The training was provided as part of the RSC’s Spectroscopy in a Suitcase programme in which PhD students travel to schools to provide students with hands on experience and a much richer understanding of spectroscopy.


Dermot outside the SFI Head Office at Wilton Place

Secondary school teachers who are interested in having Smart Futures or Spectroscopy in a Suitcase come to their schools should apply online (here and here).