Nanotechnology & Integrated BioEngineering Centre
School of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Computing and Engineering, University of Ulster at Jordanstown
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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.
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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