Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here About


CRANN (the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices) is one of the largest research institutes in Trinity College Dublin and Ireland's leading nanoscience institute.

CRANN brings together over 300 researchers including 37 leading Investigators based across multiple disciplines including Trinity's Schools of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Engineering and Pharmacology.

In October 2013, a Science Foundation Ireland funded research centre, AMBER (Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research) was launched. AMBER is jointly hosted in TCD by CRANN and the Trinity Centre for BioEngineering, and works in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and UCC. The centre provides a partnership between leading researchers in material science and industry to develop new materials and devices for a range of sectors, particularly the ICT, medical devices and industrial technology sectors..

CRANN has two state-of-the art buildings both custom designed and constructed for the purpose of leading edge nanoscience research. The Naughton Institute is a large research facility on the campus of TCD. Our Advanced Microscopy Laboratory (AML) houses Ireland’s most advanced microscopy instrumentation.

CRANN Building

Key Facts

  • CRANN is Trinity College Dublin’s (TCD) largest research institute and a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET).
  • CRANN was established in 2003 by Principal Investigators (PIs) from the Schools of Physics and Chemistry at TCD in partnership with University College Cork (UCC).
  • CRANN now comprises a team of over 300 researchers, led by 19 PIs from the Schools of Physics, Chemistry, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, Medicine and Engineering based at TCD as well as the School of Chemistry at University College Cork. Naughton Institute.
  • In 2011, CRANN built partnerships with 17 additional Investigators in TCD based across multiple disciplines including Biochemistry and Immunology.
  • CRANN is working with over 100 companies, including the major ICT companies such as Intel and Hewlett-Packard, and both indigenous and multinationals within the medical devices sector.
  • CRANN researchers have generated 42 invention disclosures, 40 patent applications across international territories and five patents, with three licenses.
  • Three companies have been spun out by CRANN PIs in recent years – Cellix, Glantreo and Miravex.
  • CRANN’s Advanced Microscopy Laboratory (AML) was completed in 2009, and is a world class €12 million research facility, that was jointly funded by the HEA and SFI.
  • The AML features some of the world’s most advanced microscopes, including a Helium Ion Microscope, one of only a dozen in the world.
  • Many companies across the medical devices, biopharma, ICT and aeronautics sectors are now regular users of the AML.
  • A Thomson-Reuters report in late 2010 placed Ireland 8th globally for materials science research (a branch of nanotechnology) based on citations per publication for the decade 2000—2010. CRANN researchers were responsible for > 70% of the outputs leading to this national ranking.
  • In Nanotechnology, Ireland's global ranking is sixth in terms of both the quality of its publications and the volume output per capita.
  • Since its foundation, CRANN has obtained €200M of competitive funding from Government, Industry, the European Union and Philanthropy.
  • Nanotechnology is a key enabling technology which underpins the ICT, medical device, and pharmaceutical sectors.
  • It is estimated that 10% - about €15B - of Irelands annual exports are associated with nanotechnology and that there are in excess of 150,000 employees working in companies in which nanotechnology plays an important enabling role.