Dr John Byrne


Nanotechnology & Integrated BioEngineering Centre

School of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Computing and Engineering, University of Ulster at Jordanstown
Co. Antrim
BT37 0QB
PH: +44 (28) 9036 8941
Email: [email protected]


Dr J. Anthony (Tony) Byrne was appointed as Lecturer in Nanotechnology in 2005. He is based in the Nanotechnology and Integrated BioEngineering Centre (NIBEC) and is a core member of the Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials Research Institute (UoA 29). He took over from Dr Brian Eggins as Head of the Photocatalysis Research Group at Ulster when Brian retired back in 2002. Byrne obtained a 1st Class Hons Degree in Applied Biochemical Sciences from Ulster in 2003 and went on to study for his PhD in chemistry at Ulster under the supervision of Dr Eggins, graduating in 1997. Since then he has worked on a range of projects involving the photocatalytic treatment and purification of water, photoelectrolytic water splitting using solar energy, and the decontamination of surfaces. He teaches Nanotechnology to undergraduate and postgraduate Engineers. Dr Byrne is Secretary to the Royal Society of Chemistry Northern Ireland Section Trust and a Committee member of the RSC Photochemistry Special Interest Group. He is also a member of the Department of Health (UK) Decontamination Working Group and a member of the EPSRC funded UK Photocatalysis Network.

Research Interests

Dr Byrne's main research interests lie in the fabrication, characterisation and application of photocatalytic materials. Fabrication processes used include dc magnetron sputtering, sol gel routes, and immobilisation of nanoparticles. Materials are characterised using a wide range of advance analytical tools including XRD, XPS, SEM/EDX and specific surface area analysis. The Photocatalysis Group at Ulster has particular expertise in photoelectrochemical characterisation of semiconductor electrodes. Application areas investigated for nanostructured metal oxide semiconductor materials include air and water purification, solar photoelectrolytic water splitting surface decontamination. Most recently, the group have shown that novel materials e.g. self-organised aligned titania nanotubes, have a much improved photocurrent response over compact oxide and nanoparticle thick film electrodes. Byrne is a lead scientist and Work Package Leader in the FP6 INCO-DEV Sodiswater Project aimed at the implementation of solar water disinfection to improving health in developing countries.

Byrne has particular interest in the commercialisation of research generated IP and held two Invest Northern Ireland Proof of Concept grants aiming towards the commercialisation of a photocatalytic technology.

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