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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

Arbresha Muriqi


Together with sponsor Meta, Tyndall celebrates the winners and finalists of the 2021 Postgraduate Publication of the Year.

Despite the continuous pandemic challenges, our students once again showed outstanding discoveries and results as part of their PhD projects, some even opening major new possibilities in their field.

Dr Fatima Gunning, Head of Graduate Studies at Tyndall, praised the entries, saying: "Year on year our students really showcase their outstanding contributions to Tyndall’s Research Excellence through the Postgraduate Research Publication of Year competition. This time, we noticed new entries from students who started their research during pandemic and lockdowns, which were quite disruptive, but their perseverance, endurance and team support paid off with excellent results! Once again we saw early stage PhD students submitting their exceptional publications, so special awards as Rising Stars for 2nd and 3rd years were also included! Congratulations to all!"


Arbresha Muriqi

Arbresha Muriqi


“Role of terminal groups in aromatic molecules on the growth of Al2O3-based hybrid materials”

1. What encouraged you to submit your application to the 2021 Postgraduate Research Publication of the Year? 

I was very happy with the work I published and thought that the Postgraduate Research Publication competition is a great chance to highlight it within Tyndall.
2. What inspired you to choose the subject of your paper? 

This is my second publication focused on the growth mechanism of Aluminium (Al)-based hybrid films. In my previous publication, we found that the common aliphatic precursors used in Molecular Layer Deposition (MLD) film growth undergo unwanted double reactions, so in this paper we wanted to focus on aromatic MLD precursors. Due to their stiff backbone, these precursors avoid the double reactions and lead to the deposition of thicker and more stable hybrid films.
3. What’s your paper about and how did you prepare for it? What role did research excellence play in your approach?

This paper is about investigating the growth mechanism of Aluminium (Al) based hybrid films grown using trimethylaluminium (Al(CH3)3, TMA) and new homo or hetero bifunctional aromatic compounds with hydroxy (OH) and/or amino (NH2) terminal groups. The most important finding in the paper is that the preferred orientation of the selected aromatic molecules is upright with no double reactions, enabling the deposition of thicker, and therefore more stable, hybrid films. Furthermore, we show that we can modify the core of the aromatic molecules to target particular properties, using specific chemical groups while promoting the deposition of more flexible hybrid films. This study is valuable for the MLD community as it presents new organic precursors that do not undergo double reactions, which allows for the ideal layer-by-layer MLD film growth.
4. The selection for Research Publication of the Year is extremely competitive. What is your advice for those aspiring for nomination next year?

If you have published a paper that you are proud of, take this opportunity and share your hard work with everyone.
5. What is the single most significant support Tyndall has been able to offer you in achieving your research goals? (Please provide any detail on additional supports that assisted? How has Tyndall enabled you to fulfil your potential in this regard?)

The greatest support during my PhD I received, was from my supervisor, Michael Nolan, and my group colleagues.

Research Publication Link

Arbresha Muriqi; Maarit Karppinen, and Michael Nolan, “Role of terminal groups in aromatic molecules on the growth of Al2O3-based hybrid materials”, Dalton Transactions, 2021,50, 17583-17593.