Primary Department
School of Physical Sciences
Emeritus staff
Phone number: 01 700
Glasnevin Campus

Academic biography

Colette McDonagh studied undergraduate physics at the National University of Ireland in Galway and was awarded a Ph.D. in Physics from Trinity College, Dublin. After postdoctoral work at Trinity College and at the Department of Applied Science at the University of California, Davis, she took up an academic position in the School of Physical Sciences at Dublin City University in 1986. She currently holds the position of Full Professor. She is  Head of the Optical Sensors Laboratory (OSL) in the School of Physical Sciences at DCU She is a member of the National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR) and of the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (BDI). Funding for research comes from a variety of sources including industry, EU and national funding bodies. She has over 120 publications has over 3500 citations.

Research interests

Sol-gel-based optical chemical sensors This work involves the exploitation of sol-gel materials for optical chemical sensor development. The tailorable, versatile nature of sol-gel materials facilitate the design of sensor films for a range of analytes and application areas. Sensors currently under development include dissolved carbon dioxide sensor for environment monitoring, multi-analyte oxygen and pH sensor for bioprocess monitoring and in-vivo pH sensors. Enhancement strategies for optical biosensors This work is part of the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (BDI) and addresses the need for highly sensitive optical biochips for point-of-care diagnostics applications. A range of optical enhancement strategies are under investigation including plasmonic enhancement which exploits the enhanced electric field experienced by a fluorescent dye when in the vicinity of a metal nanoparticle and use of high brightness silica nanoparticles for enhanced fluorescence-based bioassays.