Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - SMART (Smart molecules for super materials)

Using advanced chemistry techniques, the Draper team developed a strategy for the formation of a new set of highly aromatic organic compounds. These were different in terms of their shape and the number and position of non-carbon atoms in the framework. The result was a library of molecular systems that were incorporated into solid state materials and attached to metal centres.

The group was made up of indigenous researchers and incoming European Union fellows carved out a position at the cutting-edge of research in this area. It was the first to explore N-doped graphenes and study their charge carrier mobility, discotic, solution and solid state behaviour and optical properties.

These achievements were due to a series of high level international appointments and collaborations that could be made through the successful transfer of knowledge. The invaluable input from seven experienced research fellows enriched the quality and expertise of the indigenous research team and meant that the work gained rapidly in international recognition. The principal investigator (PI) was an invited speaker to several national and international conferences, was an international consultant and member of a United Kingdom virtual graphene centre. The publication output of the team rose by 3.5 times across the duration of the project. The citation rating of all papers increased. The average impact factor of papers submitted from 2006 to 2010 was more than four.

The group undertook a variety of research activities to ensure the dissemination of their results in a wide range of research media and public forums. The employment of an international team of committed, high calibre researchers at all levels meant that the buildup of the knowledge generated transcended national boundaries. The long-term benefits that arose included the application of the materials in solar cells and their capacity as electron transport layers or as light harvesting materials. Industrial interaction was initiated with indigenous small and medium enterprises (SME) to demonstrate these ensuing aspects of the work.

Post award applications were made to Science Foundation Ireland - Principal Investigator (SFI-PI), European Research Area (ERA) polymer, ERA Chemistry and European Union's Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) by the collaborator Prof. Hugh Burrows from Caoimhe, Portugal.

The School invested in contract materials, a device fabrication lecturer, greatly enhanced its equipment base and actively recruited researchers at all levels. It was ranked the best Chemistry School in Ireland by Reuthers, 2009. Several international conferences were actively attended throughout, including the first and second EUChem meetings.

Moreover, several meetings were hosted by the team and the School during the period. Two of the fellows were in full time academic lectureship appointments by the time of the project completion, three were on contract as post doctoral (PD) fellows and two had permanent industrial positions in their native countries. In all cases they met their short and medium term goals as set out in their career development objectives. The career development activities and welcome and information packs of the host team were of such high quality that they were requested by the internal reviewer at the transfer of knowledge (ToK) implementation meeting, held in Dublin in October 2007, where they were used to illustrate best practise. The project itself was selected as one of the '45' success stories in the Marie Curie Actions - Inspiring Researchers.

Reported by