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Physical Sciences - Research

Physics research at DCU encompasses the broad areas of nanoscience, photonics, astronomy and physics education. The research activities span experimental and theoretical studies of Intense Laser-Matter Interactions, Experimental, Applied and Computational Plasma Physics, Nanomaterials, Optical Sensors and Biosensors, Semiconductors, Surface and Interface Physics, and Microsystems.

The Atomic and Laser Plasma Group is one of the few research groups, globally, to gain competitive access to the world-leading short wavelength Free Electron Laser (FEL) facilities in Germany and in Stanford in the US. The group has recently made seminal contributions in atomic physics using X-ray FELs in prestigious journals such as Nature Physics, Nature Photonics, and Nature Communications.

The Materials Growth and Characterisation Group is carrying out pioneering work on optical properties of defects in semiconductors using radioactive isotopes at the CERN labs. This group is also doing ground-breaking work on high k dielectrics which will impact on future electronic device development.

The Microfluidic Platforms Group leads the field of centrifugal microfluidic ‘Lab-on-a-chip’ systems for a range of applications including biomedical diagnostics and environmental monitoring.

Physics academics play a significant part in a number of Research Centres at DCU, including the National Centre for Sensors Research (NCSR), the National Centre for Plasma Science and Technology (NCPST), and the Biomedical Diagnostic Institute (BDI). In the last 5 years, the School has competed successfully for more than €10 million of research funding from Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, EU, and national and international industry.

We value our connections with industry and we aim to help our industrial partners enhance their R&D efforts by tapping into our specific research expertise - and by accessing our specialist facilities and the next generation of young scientists. You are invited to read our Physics of Innovation brochure (PDF) which includes contact details for our Enterprise Engagement Coordinator, Prof. Greg Hughes (


DCD20 PhD - Physical Sciences (Part-Time)
DCD21 PhD - Physical Sciences (Full-Time)
DCD22 MSc - Physical Sciences (Part-Time)
DCD23 MSc - Physical Sciences (Full-Time)
DCD24 PhD-track - Physical Sciences (Full-Time)
DCD25 PhD-track - Physical Sciences (Part-Time)

Research areas

Research Groups

•Astrophysics Research
•Atomic and Laser Plasma Research
•Materials Growth and Characterisation
•Maths and Science Education Research
•Microsystems Research
•Optical Sensors Research
•Plasma Modelling and Diagnostics
•Plasma Research Laboratory (PRL)

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