Robert Forster


Robert Forster holds the Personal Chair of Physical Chemistry within the School of Chemical Sciences at Dublin City University and is the Director of the strategically important National Centre for Sensor research.  He is the author/co-author of more than 250 manuscripts and reviews, supervised more than 37 PhD and M.Sc. students to completion, mentored more than 45 Post-Doctoral Fellows and has been a Visiting Scientist to the California Institute of Technology and the University of California at Berkeley.  He has served as DCU Dean of Research and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health with responsibility for research.  He has received the President’s Research Award and was the first Irish based electrochemist to present an invited talk at the Gordon Research Conference on Electrochemistry.  He has contributed invited articles to more than eight Festschrift Issues celebrating the accomplishments of distinguished international scientists.  He is a member of the Editorial Board of Electrochemical Communications ( ) and has been a member of the Board for ACS Analytical Chemistry A-Pages. He has been deeply involved in major national research programmes including the establishment of the National Centre for Sensor Research, the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, the National Biophotonics and Imaging Platform and the NanoBioAnalytical Research Facility at DCU.

Research Expertise

Prof Brabazon’s research is focused in the areas of materials and processing technologies and based on the pillars of Near Net Shape Forming, Laser Processing and Separation Science technologies. These overlapping activities are focused toward the development of advanced processing technologies to enable the improved efficiency and quality of production technologies for the benefit of MNC and SME companies, and the broader society. Prof Brabazon is currently Director for the Advanced Processing Technology Research Centre at Dublin City University and a PI within the Irish Separation Science Cluster at DCU, as well as the Water Institute. Professor Brabazon has published over 200 internationally peer reviewed papers and supervised more than 30 research postgraduates to completion. Professor Brabazon’s research group currently includes 7 PhD students and 8 postdoctoral researchers working on development of novel materials, processing, and analytical technologies.

PhD Students

Select Publications

Hybrid polyoxometalate materials for photo (electro-) chemical applications
  JJ Walsh, AM Bond, RJ Forster, TE Keyes      2016      Coordination Chemistry Reviews
Polyoxometalate (POM) based supramolecular assemblies have received significant attention over recent years because of their unique and diverse redox and photochemical behaviour and their potential value across a range of important light driven applications such as photo-driven synthesis and photocatalysis. This review explores the dominant approaches to assembly of polyoxometalates into supramolecular materials, both covalent and electrostatic, with particular focus on charge transfer materials and those capable of sensitized photoelectrocatalysis. The integration of POMs as components in devices such as dye sensitized solar cells, electrocatalytic photoanodes, sensing and waste remediation are considered.


Electrogenerated chemiluminescence
  RJ Forster, P Bertoncello, TE Keyes      2009      Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry
In electrogenerated chemiluminescence, also known as electrochemiluminescence (ECL), electrochemically generated intermediates undergo a highly exergonic reaction to produce an electronically excited state that then emits light. These electron-transfer reactions are sufficiently exergonic to allow the excited states of luminophores, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and metal complexes, to be created without photoexcitation. For example, oxidation of [Ru(bpy)3]2+ in the presence of tripropylamine results in light emission that is analogous to the emission produced by photoexcitation. This review highlights some of the most exciting recent developments in this field, including novel ECL-generating transition metal complexes, especially ruthenium and osmium polypyridine systems; ECL-generating monolayers and thin films; the use of nanomaterials; and analytical, especially clinical, applications.


Nanostructured materials for electrochemiluminescence (ECL)-based detection methods: recent advances and future perspectives
  P Bertoncello, RJ Forster      2009      Biosensors and Bioelectronics

This review presents a general picture of the last advances and developments (2003–2008) related to novel nanostructured materials for electrochemiluminescence-based biosensors using. It briefly covers the basic mechanisms of ECL detection, and the recent developments in fabrication of solid-state ECL sensors using nanostructured materials such as carbon nanotubes, metal nanoparticles, quantum dots, thin films of metallopolymers and of inorganic metal complexes. Finally, challenges and perspectives of the use of such materials for biomedical diagnostics are discussed.


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