Congratulations to Laura (now at Pfizer), Sam, Steve and Oxana on their new communication published in ChemPhysChem. In this work, invited to a special issue on Molecular Logic, AuNPs were described that were functionalised with Eu(III) and Tb(III) cyclen complexes which were able to function as molecular logic gate mimics (MLGMs). Two MLGMs were reported operating using pH and organic molecule inputs, respectively, which were able to mimic half-subtractor, transfer and XOR logic functions.
Logic and Molecular logic have important history in Ireland, with George Boole developing his ideas in UCC (formerly Queen’s College Cork) and the early ideas of PET sensors as MLGMs being introduced by Prof. A.P. de Silva in Queen’s University Belfast. The TG Group has described a number of MLGMs over the years, most recently in materials systems such as our organogel-based system reported in Chem. Commun. last year. Our paper in ChemPhysChem is a further demonstration of the use of materials-supported Ln(III) luminescence, this time on AuNP surfaces and the power of logical analysis as an approach to supramolecular and sensing chemistry.
ChemPhysChem is a ChemPub Soc Europe journal, a consortium of 16 continental European chemical societies and published in collaboration with Wiley-VCH, and we are happy to have contributed to high impact European science.
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.
Terbium(III)-containing polymer sample
Europium(III)-containing polymer sample
Sam introduces the colourful world of lanthanide emission
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.
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.
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.