Advanced Materials and Surfaces Group (AMSG)

Innovation through materials design and process development

The Advanced Materials & Surfaces Group (AMSG) was formally created in February 2004 with the arrival of Professor Martyn Pemble from the University of Salford, UK, where he held the post of Chair of Physical Chemistry. The current team has evolved since this period to gain global recognition through numerous national and international collaborative research projects.  A wide range of advances in both industry relevant application areas and basic academic research fields have been achieved to date and ongoing investigations are equally ground breaking.

The AMSG team focus is essentially divided into two main research areas;

Thin films and surface structures, CVD, ALD and other novel deposition techniques.

Growth and modification of novel thin film systems and surface structures by chemical vapour deposition (CVD), atomic layer deposition (ALD) and variations of these methods including plasma-assisted ALD and liquid injection CVD. Most recently we have developed a roll-to-roll ALD system for the coating of textiles and other flexible materials.

Roll-to-Roll atomic layer deposition (ALD) for textiles (click here to see movie);

Funded by SFI and Enterprise Ireland, this movie shows the roll-to-roll ALD system used to prepare coated textile materials with the primary aim of improving fire retardency but also for the creation of smart sensor technology (wearables) and anti-fouling materials that could have applications in the personal protective equipment area. The system performs one complete ALD cycle per pass under the heads and for demontration purposes the coating is built up by running the roller system backwards and forwards. The system operates at close to atmospheric pressure.

We have also recently begun to perform roll-to-roll coating of various polymer blends used in organic solar cells and light emitting devices.

Slot Dye/Doctor blade/Gravure system for the roll-to-roll coating of flexible materials (click here to see movie);

Designed and built by our colleagues at the university of Sao Paolo, Brazil (Prof Roberto Faria, Mr Leonardo Dias-Cagnani and Ms Giovana Americo-Rosso), this system is currently being used to prepare organic photovoltaics (OPV) and organic LEDs (OLEDs) on flexible transparent polymeric materials. This work is funded by SFI International Strategic Cooperation Award (ISCA) Brazil for which Tyndall are the lead partners in the area of nanomaterials.

Photonic band gap materials

 - Synthesis of novel particles and their self-assembly into photonic band gap materials, that are similar in structure to natural opals.

For further details of materials systems and research fields see links below or contact Prof Pemble directly (

Atomic layer deposition

Chemical vapour deposition

Sol-gel processes and materials

Two photon polymerisation

Photonic band gap materials

Optical microstructures

Heterogeneous systems integration

Research Facilities:

• Atomic layer deposition reactors

• Direct liquid injection reactor

• Chemical vapour deposition reactors

• Langmuir-Blodgett trough

• Visible/Near IR/mid IR spectrometer

• Full range of bench top apparatus for chemical synthesis and purification

Prof Pemble is also the coordinator of the prestigious Strategic Research Cluster “FORME” which includes significant teams from Irish Universities and Industry and is leading the way to generate enabling technology for next generation semiconductor devices.  Intel and Applied Materials are both partners supporting the cluster. See


a)  SEM image showing a thin film opal sample after infilling with Al2O3
b)  A series of three different synthetic opals
c)  SEM image of a high-k on III-V structure a) with and b) without an Al2O3 interface control layer


The listing of all AMSG Personnel is on a separate web page which can be found by clicking on the link below

AMSG Personnel


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