Aoife Kavanagh


Aoife graduated from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in 2020 with a degree in Chemistry, having achieved first-class honours and a gold medal for academic excellence. In her undergraduate, Aoife studied maths, physics and chemistry, before specialising into pure chemistry in her third year. Throughout her degree, Aoife’s main interests lay in Inorganic Chemistry and she carried out industrial internships at Pannonia Bio in Hungary and Intel Ireland, which cultivated her interest in materials science and nanomaterials. For her final year project, Aoife chose to work with the Dunne group at TCD, who specialise in Inorganic Energy Materials. Aoife’s project focused on the development of highly dispersible hybrid organic-inorganic nanomaterials, by functionalising inorganic tin oxide cores with organic surface ligands. This was achieved using a combined sol-gel-solvothermal method, which showed a high level of growth control not previously demonstrated for such hybrid species. Additionally, a new structural modification of tin oxide was discovered, which had not been observed previously. Further work on these results is ongoing in the Dunne group.

Aoife is part of the SFI and EPSRC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training in the Advanced Characterisation of Materials. This is a joint venture between University College London (UCL), Imperial College London (ICL) and Trinity College Dublin (TCD). Aoife is carrying out her PhD project at TCD, in the Yurii Gun’ko Research Group, in collaboration with the Davies Functional Nanomaterials Group in UCL. Her research will focus on investigating the magnetic and optical behaviours induced in CuInS-based nanomaterials by surface ligands, including chiral optically active groups, with the aim to develop new surface-functionalised 2D CuInS-based colloidal nanomaterials for use in biomedical applications.