Inorganic & Materials Chemistry

Research in the Inorganic & Materials sections at UCC falls under three broad headings.

Bioinorganic chemistry under the direction of Dr. Orla Ni Dhubhghaill

The focus of the research is on the design and synthesis of novel metallodrugs.  Among the compounds currently under investigation are imine and phosphinoimine complexes of Pd(II) and Pt(II).  The work includes development of synthetic methodologies for both ligands and complexes, in addition to investigations on reactivities of complexes, especially towards biologically relevant species such as cysteine and methionine.

Solid-state chemistry under the direction of Dr. Simon Lawrence

Current research is concerned with structural control of the crystalline state, involving crystal engineering, supramolecular chemistry and polymorphism.

Inorganic Materials Chemistry under the direction of Dr. Justin D. Holmes, Prof. Michael A. Morris and Dr. David J. Otway  

The materials chemistry initiative is a joint programme between inorganic and physical chemistry. It also has strong links to researchers at the Tyndall National Institute and Centre for Research in Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (Trinity College Dublin) and MAM/JDH are leading researchers at these partner institutions.

Some of our current research interests are associated with the synthesis of inorganic solids - particularly complex oxides - and their structural and compositional characterisation. Many of these materials are prepared as thin films and as nanostructured solids so that structure and properties can be controlled. Some of this work relates to developing routes to lanthanide containing oxides as potential electric and dielectric materials. We have also used structured mesoporous materials as low-k dielectrics in collaboration with Intel. We have also pioneered means by which mesoporous materials can act as templates for the growth of quantum-confined semiconductor, oxide and metallic materials in the form of nanowires and nanoparticles.

Other research interests are in organometallic main group, transition and lanthanide metal complexes with (but not exclusively) nitrogen, pnictide, oxygen and chalcogen based ligands and their further use to deposit or grow materials (by MOCVD, ALD or templated processes) from such compounds. Some of our most recent work has shown that we can control the size of, for instance, MnS nanoparticles grown in a very reproducible fashion using a mesoporous substrate. A noteable recent success has been the award of a SFI funded (4.2 million euro) Strategic Research Cluster (led by Prof. Martyn Pemble @ the Tyndall) called FORME - Functional Oxide and Related Materials for Electronics.

Dr. Orla Ni Dhubhghaill The area of bioinorganic chemistry, in particular in the design and synthesis of coordination complexes with biological activity.
Prof. Justin D. Holmes Supercritical fluid processing of nanomaterials. Synthesis, characterisation and assembly of nanoscale materials for electronic, energy and sensing and applications. High surface area crystalline mesoporous materials for use in energy conversion and storage devices. The exploitation of nanoscale materials for environmental clean-up.
Dr. Simon Lawrence Investigation into the organic solid state: crystal engineering, crystallisation, polymorphism, co-crystallisation and related issues.
Prof. Michael Morris a) Development of methods to generate nanoelectronics circuitry at substrates. b) Development of new polymeric membrane systems for pervaporation and medical diagnostic tests. c) New materials for coating of medical implant devices.
Dr. David J. Otway Research interests are in Organometallic Chemistry, Main Group & Lanthanide Chemistry and Inorganic Materials Chemistry. 
Prof. Martyn Pemble

Martyn Pemble's group studies the areas of advanced chemical vapour deposition (CVD) systems and atomic layer deposition (ALD) systems, including surface catalysed CVD, the use of templated substrates in CVD growth/passivation (particularly of the III-Vs) and  the growth of high-k dielectrics for advanced CMOS applications. In addition the group is well-known for its work on the growth and characterisation of synthetic photonic crystals based upon opaline systems and the assembly of photonic crystals using the Langmur-Blodgett method.

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