Physics

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The Department of Physics core research area are: Nanophysics, microscopy, medical physics and energy.

Its academic staff are members of the Bernal Institute which houses nationally unique scientific infrastructure for the characterisation of novel materials and components and comprises researchers from various scientific and engineering disciplines.

This year, 2017, has been an exciting and productive one for UL Physics, with a new TEM launch, and new discoveries in the fields of molecular electronics, and biophysics.

The research within the Department includes a diverse mix of projects of both a fundamental and an applied nature. Research within the department is a vibrant group of faculty and postgraduate students. In terms of research areas, one of the main strengths is in the area of physics condensed matter and its applications. A number of faculty members are founding members of the Materials and Surface Science institute (MSSi). The principal interests and activities are in the areas of semiconductors, copper metallization, advanced nano materials, magnetics, and thin film science and technology. Other interests include complex systems, physics education, medical instrumentation and renewable energy sources. The work is in this area is world class.

Funding is mostly derived from external sources including EU, SFI, Enterprise Ireland, HEA and industry collaboration. The department has two Bernal Chairs, Bernal Chair in Energy and Bernal Chair in Microscopy & Imaging also involved in research..

For more information visit the Department of Physics homepage.

Recent Submissions

  • O'Dwyer, Kevin (University of Limerick, 2018)
    Many typical methods of studying particles within an aqueous solution use some form of control mechanism to limit sample variability. A common application in cytometry is the use of hydrodynamic focusing to confine the ...
  • Hardcastle, Trevor P.; Hage, Fredrik S.; Gjerding, Morten N.; Kepaptsoglou, Demie M.; Seabourne, Che R.; Winther, Kirsten T.; Zan, Recep; Amani, Julian Alexander; Hofsaess, Hans C.; Bangert, Ursel; Thygesen, Kristian S.; Ramasse, Quentin M. (ACS Publications, 2018)
    Single atom B or N substitutional doping in single-layer suspended graphene, realised by low energy ion implantation, is shown to induce a dampening or enhancement of the characteristic interband π plasmon of graphene ...
  • Nirmalraj, Peter; Lehner, Roman; Thompson, Damien; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara; Mayer, Michael (Nature Publishing Group, 2018)
    Surface contamination and the formation of water bridge at the nanoscopic contact between an atomic force microscope tip and cell surface limits the maximum achievable spatial resolution on cells under ambient conditions. ...
  • Pita, Isabel A.; Kumbham, Mahendar; Schmidt, Michael; Gleeson, Matthew; Ryan, Kevin M.; Silien, Christophe; Liu, Ning (Optical Society of America, 2018)
    The optimum geometry for waveguide propagation was determined by comparing bowtie and semicircle antenna cuts to a standard plain waveguide with a 635 nm laser. The results of both experimental data and COMSOL simulations ...
  • Yuan, Li; Nerngchamnong, Nisachol; Cao, Ling; Hamoudi, Hicham; del Barco, Enrique; Roemer, Max; Sriramula, Ravi K.; Thompson, Damien; Nijhui, Christian A. (Nature Publishing Group, 2018)
    A challenge in molecular electronics is to control the strength of the molecule–electrode coupling to optimize device performance. Here we show that non-covalent contacts between the active molecular component (in this ...
  • Butler, James (University of Limerick, 2011)
    This thesis details the results obtained from an extensive study on the development of a workable radiopaque rare earth doped NiTi alloy through a traditional ingot melting (IM) route and a powder metallurgy (PM) route. ...
  • Stapleton, Aimee; Noor, Mohamed R.; Haq, Ehtsham U.; Silien, Christophe; Soulimane, Tewfik; Tofail, Syed A.M. (AIP Publishing, 2018)
    Pyroelectricity is the ability of certain non-centrosymmetric materials to generate an electric chargein response to a change in temperature and finds use in a range of applications from burglar alarms to thermal imaging. ...
  • Nirmalraj, Peter N.; Thodkar, Kishan; Guerin, Sarah; Calame, Michel; Thompson, Damien (Nature Publishing Group, 2018)
    Wrinkles are a unique class of surface corrugations present over diverse length scales from Kinneyia-type wrinkles in Archean-era sedimentary fossils to nanoscopic crinkling in two-dimensional crystals. Lately, the role ...
  • Kumbham, Mahendar; Mouras, Rabah; Mani, Aladin; Daly, Susan; O'Dwyer, Kevin; Toma, Andrea; Bianchini, Paolo; Diaspro, Alberto; Liu, Ning; Tofail, Syed A.M.; Silien, Christophe (Optical Society of America, 2017)
    We have experimentally investigated the enhancement in spatial resolution by image subtraction in mid-infrared central solid-immersion lens (c-SIL) microscopy. The subtraction exploits a first image measured with the c-SIL ...
  • Koumoulos, E.P.; Tofail, Syed A.M.; Silien, Christophe; De Felicis, D.; Moscatelli, R.; Dragatogiannis, D.A.; Bemporad, E.; Sebastiani, M.; Charitidis, C.A. (Elsevier, 2018)
    Nanometrology refers to measurement techniques that assess materials properties at the nanoscale. Laboratorybased characterisation of nanomaterials has been the key enabler in the growth of nanotechnology and nanoenable ...
  • Chwastyk, Mateusz; Vera, Andrés M.; Galera-Prat, Albert; Gunnoo, Melissabye; Thompson, Damien; Carrión-Vázquez, Mariano; Cieplak, Marek (AIP Publishing, 2017)
    We combine experimental and theoretical methods to assess the effect of a set of point mutations on c7A, a highly mechanostable type I cohesin module from scaffoldin CipA from Clostridium thermocellum. We propose a novel ...
  • Zan, R.; Ramasse, Q M.; Jalil, R.; Tu, J-S.; Bangert, Ursel; Novoselov, K S. (IOP Publishing, 2017)
    Stacking different two-dimensional (2D) atomic layers is a feasible approach to create unique multilayered van der Waals heterostructures with desired properties. 2D materials, graphene, hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), ...
  • Garrigues, Alvar R.; Yuan, Li; Wang, Lejia; Mucciolo, Eduardo R.; Thompson, Damien; del Barco, Enrique; Nijhuis, Christian A. (Nature Publishing Group, 2016)
    We present a theoretical analysis aimed at understanding electrical conduction in molecular tunnel junctions. We focus on discussing the validity of coherent versus incoherent theoretical formulations for single-level ...
  • Kumbham, Mahendar; Daly, Susan; O'Dwyer, Kevin; Mouras, Rabah; Liu, Ning; Mani, Aladin; Peremans, Andre; Tofail, Syed A.M.; Silien, Christophe (Optical Society of America, 2016)
    The spatial resolution in far-field mid-infrared (λ>2.5 μm) microscopy and microspectroscopy remains limited with the full-width at half maximum of the point-spread function ca. λ/1.3; a value that is very poor in ...
  • Oboroceanu, Daniela; Quill, Nathan; Lenihan, Catherine; Ní Eidhin, Deirdre; Albu, Sergiu P.; Lynch, Robert P.; Buckley, Noel (Electrochemical Society, 2016)
    The stability of typical vanadium flowbattery (VFB) catholytes with respect to precipitation of V2O5 was investigated at temperatures in the range 30–60◦C. In all cases a precipitate formed after an induction time, which ...
  • Baskys, Algirdas; Hopkins, Simon C.; Bader, Jakob; Glowacki, Bartek A. (Elsevier, 2016)
    As superconducting materials find their way into applications, there is increasing need to verify their performance at operating conditions. Testing of critical current with respect to temperature and magnetic field is of ...
  • Cronin, Patrick (University of Limerick, 2012)
    The incorporation of nanoparticles (NPs) into the surfaces of materials has received significant attention, especially in the area of textiles for self-cleaning. The sphericity and fast oxidation of metallic NPs when exposed ...
  • Oboroceanu, Daniela; Quill, Nathan; Lenihan, Catherine; Ní Eidhin, Deirdre; Albu, Sergiu P.; Lynch, Robert P.; Buckley, Noel (Electrochemical Society, 2017)
    The stability of typical vanadium flow battery (VFB) catholytes was investigated at temperatures in the range 30–60°C for VV concentrations of 1.4–2.2 mol dm−3 and sulfate concentrations of 3.6–5.4 mol dm−3. In all cases, ...
  • Wasserberg, Dorothee; Cabanas-Danés, Jordi; Prangsma, Jord; O'Mahony, Shane; Cazade, Pierre-Andre; Tromp, Eldrich; Blum, Christian; Thompson, Damien; Huskens, Jurriaan; Subramaniam, Vinod; Jonkheijm, Pascal (American Chemical Society, 2017)
    We report oriented immobilization of proteins using the standard hexahistidine (His6)-Ni2+:NTA (nitrilotriacetic acid) methodology, which we systematically tuned to give control of surface coverage. Fluorescence microscopy ...
  • Bangert, Ursel; Pierce, W.; Boothroyd, C.; Pan, C.-T.; Gwilliam, R. (Nature Publishing Group, 2016)
    lasmons in the visible/UV energy regime have attracted great attention, especially in nano-materials, with regards to applications in opto-electronics and light harvesting; tailored enhancement of such plasmons is of ...

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