Welcome to the npl homepage

Science Foundation Ireland announced (May 2017) the funding of four new SFI Research Centres including the "Innovative techniques and processes in Additive Manufacturing" centre, called Déantús.  NPL researchers have been funded under Déantús, and will provide novel non-destructive radio frequency, x-ray and photoacoustic metrologies for additive manufacturing process quality monitoring. Prof Patrick McNally will be working with the Déantús leader, Prof Dermot Brabazon of APT, on developing and validating these new technologies in a processing environment. More details on www.sfi.ie/news-resources/press-releases/sfi-to-invest-%E2%82%AC72-million-in-four-new-world-class-sfi-research-centres.html


Exciting novel nondestructive x-ray diffraction imaging techniques have been pioneered by the Dublin-Durham-Freiburg research team led by Prof Patrick McNally of NPL and has been publicised as a Science Highlight by the Diamond Light Source in Oxfordshire (UK), one of Europe's largest and most advanced research facilities. Using the intense x-ray beams generated at Diamond, the team has developed a suite of techniques capable of accurately, precisely and verifiably measuring the stress and warpage in silicon die inside fully encapsulated advanced chip packages. These packages are under development for next generation integrated circuit deployment and the work points the way to a new industry based quality assurance technique.  Further details are available on


Enterprise Ireland has recently awarded a Commercialisation Fund Award to NPL for the 30 month development of novel technology for radio frequency monitoring of commercial plasma processing systems. The project is entitled "Non-invasive Monitoring Probes for Industrial Plasmas (NiMPIP)" and builds on earlier Enterprise Ireland support via their Commercial Case Feasibility programme.


The NPL was recently awarded a Science Foundation Ireland/Enterprise Ireland Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) for a project entitled "High Sensitivity Low-Cost Portable Plasmonic Photoacoustic Detector (P3-D) System for Biodetection". When you stay in hospital you run a very high risk of acquiring a Healthcare-Associated Infection  (HCAI) which can lengthen your stay in hospital, leave you with long-term complications or potentially prove fatal. Current means of detecting these infections are bulky, expensive and can take many days to perform. NPL researchers are developing a new technology based on their proven expertise in photoacoustics metrology.


Dr Stephen Daniels of NPL was awarded a Health Research Board & Science Foundation Ireland research grant under the Translational Research Awards programme. This project is entitled "Improved Methods to Detect and Decontaminate Environmental Sources of Healthcare-Associated Infection" and runs in collaboration with Professor Hilary Humphreys in RCSI/Beaumont Hospital, Dublin.


patrick  mcnally

PMN Image

Prof. Patrick McNally, BE, ScM, PhD, FIEI, FInstP,CEng, CPhys, SMIEEE.


Prof. Patrick McNally received a BE (First Class Hons.) degree from University College, Galway, Ireland, and the degrees of ScM and PhD from Brown University, Rhode Island, USA in 1988 and 1992, respectively.

He is a  Professor in the School of Electronic Engineering at Dublin City University, where he served as Head of School (2012-2015). He has more than 25 years’ experience in non-invasive non-destructive metrology techniques.

He is Associate Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics. He has authored or co-authored more than 300 scientific papers, holds two patents and has five pending.

In 2010 he was a founder and CTO of Sonex Metrology Ltd., a company offering photoacoustics metrology solutions for the semiconductor IC and packaging markets.

Prof. McNally’s main research interests include nanomaterials and electronic device process characterisation (including x-ray diffraction imaging and photoacoustic metrology), portable photoacoustics systems for 
bio-detection, and copper halides for photonics applications.

Full details of publications etc. at

stephen daniels (currently on Leave of absence)

SD Image

Dr. Stephen Daniels, BEng, PhD, MIEEE.


Stephen is Director of DCU's Sustainable Economies and Societies Hub and is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Electronic Engineering. His primary scientific technical competence is in the area of integrated circuit manufacturing processes and novel thin film deposition techniques. He also has extensive experience in product design and development. He has spent time working at Philips Research, IMEC and the Applied Materials laboratories in California, and maintains significant national and international linkages within the broader plasma and semiconductor processing industry.

Stephen also directs DCU's Energy and Design Laboratory (EDL) in DCU. The EDL was established to facilitate fundamental and applied research in energy engineering, with a particular emphasis on the design, modelling, and analysis of sustainable energy systems and installations, and the design of energy efficient devices.

Full details of publications etc. at

News and Forthcoming Activities
The IEEE Research to Industry (R2i) Innovation Workshop– 18th May 2017
Stokes Building, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland
The R2i-2017 Innovation Workshop provides opportunities for innovative researchers to present their work at this forum comprising a wide spectrum of interested parties. Attendees from business and industry may engage with innovators to take up promising innovations into further development or exploitation. This event bridges the gap between industry and research by:

  • Showcasing innovative technological research of potential value to Irish and UK industry
  • Identifying resources or competence in specific areas
  • Find specialists to support further or related research
  • Bridge skills gaps by discovering graduates to employ, second or sponsor
This innovative workshop builds on previous successful R2i initiatives. At R2i-2017 researchers will present short high impact illustrated narratives of their research achievements. The four sessions are led by keynotes who are leaders in take-up and commercialisation of research.

The Keynotes at R2i-2017are:
  • Dr Tom Rowbotham, IEEE Life Fellow, Partner at Vesbridge Venture Capital. Tom will give guidance on how to prepare & seek business funding".
  • Stephen McNulty, Chief Executive Officer, AmbiSense - providing disruptive technology in environmental monitoring and IoT. Stephen will talk about his experience as an entrepreneur, identifying a market opportunity and working with university researchers to spin-out AmbiSense
  • Géraldine Andrieux Gustin CEO of BLUMORPHO, an innovation accelerator company and business maker for innovation. Géraldine will address innovation acceleration and business creation.
  • Paul Murray, Investment Director, Atlantic Bridge Capital. Atlantic Bridge invests in technology companies in Europe, the US and China. The Fund focuses primarily at the expansion capital and growth equity stages.

The R2i-2017 Programme is at www.ieee-ukandireland.org/event/the-research-to-industry-r2i-workshop/

Registration & Seminar Fees.

Spaces are limited and registration is attractive at only Euro 25.00 per delegate.
Register at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/r2i-2017-innovation-workshop-the-research-to-industry-r2i-worksh

IEEE UK & Ireland Section

Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics
Patrick McNally appointed as Eeitor of JMSE (2016- ). See www.springeronline.com/journal/10854

Recent Publications

  • “Nondestructive X-ray diffraction measurement of warpage in silicon dies embedded in integrated circuit packages”, B. K. Tanner, A. N. Danilewsky, R. K. Vijayaraghavan, A. Cowley and P. J. McNally, J. Appl. Cryst. 50, pp. 547–554 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1107/S1600576717003132
  •  "Pulsed-Plasma Physical Vapor Deposition Approach Toward the Facile Synthesis of Multilayer and Monolayer Graphene for Anticoagulation Applications", R.K. Vijayaraghavan, C. Gaman, B. Jose, A.P McCoy, T. Cafolla, P.J. McNally and S. Daniels, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 8, pp. 4878−4886 (2016). DOI: 10.1021/acsami.5b10952
  • "Simultaneous depth-profiling of electrical and elemental properties of ion-implanted arsenic in silicon by combining secondary-ion mass spectrometry with resistivity measurements", N Bennett, C.S. Wong and P.J. McNally, Rev. Sci. Instrumen. 87,  074702 (2016).   
  • "Nondestructive monitoring of die warpage in encapsulated chip packages", A. Bose, R.K. Vijayaraghavan, A. Cowley, V. Cherman, O. Varela Pedreira, B.K. Tanner, A.N. Danilewsky, I. De Wolf and P.J. McNally, IEEE Trans. Comp. Packaging Manuf. Technol., 6, pp. 653-662 (2016). DOI: 10.1109/TCPMT.2016.2527060 (2016).   

ICOOPMA 2016 (7th International Conference on Optical, Optoelectronic and Photonic Materials and Applications), Montréal, Québec,Canada (12-17 June, 2016).
Prof. Patrick McNally delivered an invited talk entitled "X-ray diffraction imaging for real-time in situ monitoring of future 3-D photonics system packages".

MAM2016 (Materials for Advanced Metallization), Brussels, Belgium (20-23 March, 2016)

IEEE EuroSimE Conference (Thermal, Mechanical & Multiphysics Simulation and Experiments
in Micro/Nano-Electronics and Micro/Nano-systems), Montpellier, France (17-20 April, 2016)


Technology and IP developed by NPL researchers has led to the spin out of numerous start-ups.

These include:



For further details, please contact our INVENT Centre in DCU.