Sam Bradberry successfully defends his PhD thesis

IMAG3236Congratulations to Sam Bradberry, who today successfully defended his PhD thesis, entitled Design and development of novel self-assembled luminescent lanthanide complexes in solution and in responsive soft materials.

The four year research project was carried out in collaboration with Dr Amir Khan of the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, TCD and Prof. Colin McCoy of Queens University Belfast. Sam’s work has been published in several journals including Chemical Communications and Faraday Discussions. After the viva, Sam joined the rest of the TG group for a celebratory reception in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute.


Oxana presents at ISMSC 2017 in Cambridge

Dr Oxana Kotova attended the 12th International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry in conjunction with ISACS: Challenges in Organic Materials & Supramolecular Chemistry, which was held this year in Cambridge Corn Exchange & Guildhall. There she presented a poster entitled “Discrete white-light-emitting Ln-based heterometallic assemblies in solution”. This work was recently published in Chemical Science. The conference included talks from various internationally renowned researchers including Nobel Laureate Prof. Fraser Stoddart, Prof. François Diederich, Prof. Harry Anderson, Prof. David Leigh and Prof. Vivian W.W. Yam amongst many other excellent chemists. Thanks to the organising committee for the excellent meeting.

New paper accepted in Chemical Science on a novel lanthanide-based white-light emitting system


Varying the colour of the emission by altering the molar fraction of europium in the system (𝛘Eu)

Congratulations to Oxana Kotova, Steve Comby and Christophe Lincheneau on their paper entitled “White-light emission from discrete heterometallic lanthanide-directed self-assembled complexes in solution” which has been accepted into the RSC journal Chemical Science. In this work, the newly designed multidentate ligand tdt was used, which provides three individual tridentate binding sites for lanthanide (Ln) ions. White-light emission was successfully achieved by carefully tuning (i) the molar ratio of Eu(III) and Tb(III) within the assembly and thus the relative intensity of the red and green emission, (ii) the excitation wavelength, as the tdt ligand consists of two different chromophores, and (iii) the ligand concentration, which greatly affects the intensity of the blue emission within the overall self-assembled complexes. We envisage that this system can be further developed and find its application as white-light emitting material or as a ratiometric sensor.

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.

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.

“Luminescent Logic in Soft Materials” presentation wins prize at Discover Research Dublin open night

Recent research from the TG Group on the use of lanthanide luminescent soft materials as molecular logic gate mimics was presented to the public as part of the Discover Dublin Research Night in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute on 25th September 2015. The work was described in an RTÉ News bulletin the day before and many people attended the laboratory where Sam Bradberry, Joe Byrne and Anna Aletti showed them how research chemists can create functional materials from commercially available building blocks, step by step. Illustrations by artist Sophie Longwill helped communicate the complex ideas to an audience of all ages. The presentation won a prize as a result of feedback from visitors.

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The research was recently published in an article in Chemical Communications. It describes the use of lanthanide luminescent bundles based on the “Trinity Sliotar” and the btp motif as components in methacrylate-based soft materials and their use as responsive functional materials, and with luminescent outputs which can be described in terms of logic gates. The article can be read here.