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.

Irish Universities Chemistry Colloquium

imageThe majority of the research group attended the Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium in Maynooth University on 25-26 June, many presenting posters over the two days. Sam Bradberry gave a talk presenting his work on polymeric soft materials, including hydrogels and luminescent logic gate mimic systems. This prompted some discussion from the audience.

imageIn the evening, Joe Byrne – a Maynooth alumnus – led the delegates on a walking tour of the historical campus, telling ghost stories he collected from staff during his undergraduate studies there. This alternative conference entertainment was enjoyed by those who attended.

Students attend Molecular Nanoscience Symposium in Reading

reading2015Fergus Poynton, Sam Bradberry and Anna Aletti this week attended a symposium in the University of Reading on the topic of Molecular Nanoscience, an RSC Centenary Lecture Symposium. The day-long meeting featured a plenary lecture by Professor Sir J. Fraser Stoddart FRS (Northwestern University), the RSC Centenary Medallist and Lecturer 2014.