James M. Flaherty Scholar from DIT on research visit to McGill University

June 28, 2016

Dervil Cody writes;

I am a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Centre for Industrial and Engineering Optics at the Dublin Institute of Technology. My research focuses on the development of three dimensional photonic sensors for the detection of pollutants in both air and water environments. Currently I am undertaking a six-week visit, funded by the James M. Flaherty Scholarship, to McGill University in Montreal. I am being kindly hosted by Prof. Christopher Barrett, head of the Barrett Research Group in the Department of Chemistry.

IMG_8641The Barrett Research Group, McGill University

 McGill University in Montreal is one of Canada’s leading academic institutions, and the Barrett Research Group at McGill University has for 20 years pioneered new materials for optical sensors, and is now also one of the world leaders in developing green optical materials and devices. My host Prof. Christopher Barrett is also jointly appointed to McGill University’s renowned School of Environment.

During my stay at McGill University, I am carrying out real-time characterisation of the optical properties of prototype sensors under different environmental conditions using the Barrett Group’s custom-built ellipsometry apparatus. These measurements will contribute significantly to our understanding of the sensor operation, allowing for further device optimisation and advancement of my research.



Poster presentation at Photonics North 2016 in Quebec City

As well as affording me the opportunity to undertake optical measurements which are highly beneficial for my research, the James M. Flaherty Scholarship is also enabling me to engage with many high profile scientists and institutes during my stay in Canada. In May, I attended Photonics North 2016 in the picturesque Québec City. This was an excellent experience, during which I was able to present and discuss my research with experts from across North America. While there, Prof. Barrett kindly arranged a tour of the National Optics Institute, a technological design and development firm specializing in state-of-the-art optic and photonic solutions. Later this month, I will also be attending and giving a talk at the 7th International Conference on Optical, Optoelectronic and Photonics Materials and Applications in Montreal. All of these experiences are of immeasurable value, and I am very excited to develop further the new partnerships and collaborations initiated during this visit.