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School of Chemistry

The School of Chemistry at Trinity College can trace its origins back to the appointment of Dr. Robert Griffith, a medical graduate of the University, as Lecturer of Chemistry in 1711. The School, now approaching its Tercentenary, has a rich history that predates one of the earliest chemical milestones, Dalton's 'Law of Multiple Proportions', by over 90 years, and it was already in its bicentennial year when Marie Curie received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of radium and polonium.

One of its most significant historical figures is James Emerson Reynolds, who was in many ways an early materials scientist. Reynolds made several important scientific contributions, including the first reported colloidal derivative of mercury and the discovery of thiourea. He also played a central role on the once controversial subject of the valency of beryllium and its proper place in the periodic table. Reynolds was equally an educationalist and was one of the first to introduce quantitative work into the early training of chemistry students. His four volume text "Experimental Chemistry for Junior Students" was widely used. From Griffith's initial appointment in 1711, the School has now expanded to its current staffing level of 43 (23 academic, 15 technical and 5 administrative staff). An appointment will soon be made to an additional Ussher Lectureship in Device Fabrication.

The School offers degree programmes in Chemistry, in Medicinal Chemistry and in Chemistry with Molecular Modelling. A fourth degree programme, Nanoscience, Physics and Chemistry of Advanced Materials (NPCAM) is offered jointly with the School of Physics, with which it has close links. The School is also a major participant in both the Trinity Centre for High Performance Computing,, and in CRANN, the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices, It also participates, together with University College Dublin in the CSCB, the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology,, and currently leads the Chemistry strand of the DRHEA, the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance, The School is a founder member of the Dublin Chemisrty Graduate Programme,

In research, the School of Chemistry has a worldwide reputation and several staff are recognised as being leaders in their fields. Much of this research is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and by the European Union. The School possesses a comprehensive suite of modern spectroscopic equipment that permits research to be carried out in virtually any area of Chemistry. The School has recently been awarded €2.756 million under PRTLI Cycle 5 to develop a Structured PhD Programme, in which there will be a Nanotechnology strand.

Last updated 10 September 2013