New paper published in ChemPhysChem

WebsiteCongratulations 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.

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.

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.

TG Group travel to Southampton for Supramolecular Symposium

Anna Aletti, Samuel Bradberry and Dr. Oxana Kotova of the TG group attended Southampton Supramolecular Chemistry Symposium on the 24th of June 2016.


Southamption Supramolecular Symposium 2016 Delegates

All of them presented posters and, in addition, Samuel gave an excellent talk on “Lanthanide Luminescent Logic – functional organic scaffolds and soft polymers gels as logic gate mimics”.


Sam giving his talk


Sam and A P at the poster session



Oxana with her poster


Anna presenting her poster

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A P de Silva, Oxana, Anna, Joe and Sam at the drinks reception

Our former group member Dr. Joseph Byrne who is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Bern attended the conference as well and presented a poster on his recent work published in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. on self-templated btp [2]Catenane.

The meeting included speakers and posters from UK Universities and beyond, including an outstanding lecture from the plenary speaker Professor A. P. de Silva.

TG Group members win Science Week Quiz


As part of the 20th Annual Science Week, SCI’s All-Ireland group hosted a table quiz in Doyles bar. The quiz was sponsored by Henkel, RSC and ICI.

Against stiff competition from other chemists from Trinity, UCD and various industrial chemists, the first prize was won by a team made up of TG Group members Amy Lynes, Dermot Gillen, Joe Byrne, Anna Aletti and Sam Bradberry.

“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.