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The Materials Chemistry and Analysis Group (MCAG) research new materials for electronic, energy, environmental and catalytic applications, addressing key challenges in nanoscale science and sustainability. We use a diverse range of techniques to grow, assemble, modify and characterise materials, including cutting-edge nanofabrication, microscopy and spectroscopic approaches. The group is led by Prof Justin D. Holmes and our research labs are primarily located within the School of Chemistry at University College Cork (UCC).


The group is affiliated to a number of research centres, which include the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) and the Tyndall National Institute at UCC, the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) based in Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research (AMBER) Centre, a Science Foundation Ireland funded centre that provides a partnership between leading researchers in materials science and industry, based in TCD and UCC.

The research activity of the group can be split into the following themes:

  • Catalytic Nanomaterials: In this theme nanostructured metals, semiconductors and oxides are used to facilitate important chemical reactions, including the synthesis of pharmaceutical compounds.
  • Nanoscale Materials: This research primarily focuses on the fabrication and application of nanomaterials and thin films for electronic, thermoelectric and energy storage/conversion applications.
  • Surface Chemistry: This theme centres on modifying the surfaces of semiconductor substrates and nanomaterials, including two dimensional materials, for advanced electronic and energy applications.
  • Sustainability: Research in this area predominantly targets the recycling of polymers and plastics through chemical approaches and using carbon dioxide as a green solvent for materials synthesis.

Research in the group has been funded by national (SFI, Enterprise Ireland, EPA, NUI), international (European Union) and industrial sources (including Intel, Applied Materials, LAM Research, Eli Lilly, Merck, Marigot and Glantreo).

We are dedicated to the development and training of undergraduate and postgraduate students in chemistry and materials science, helping students to achieve their academic goals and employment aspirations. The MCAG is also committed to Education and Public Engagement (EPE) and making science education and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) attractive for young people; through participation in activities such as science fairs, school visits and hosting transition year students on work placement in the MCAG labs.

For further information, please contact Prof. Justin Holmes

Materials Chemistry and Analysis Group (MCAG)

School of Chemistry, First Floor, Kane Building, University College Cork, T12 YN60.

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