David O'Donnell

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr O'Donnell is a lecturer in the Nuclear Physics Group having joined in March 2016.

Dr O'Donnell's primary research interests lie in the field of nuclear physics. In particular, he is interested in probing the structure of extremely exotic nuclei via the spectroscopy of gamma rays and charged particles.

Dr O'Donnell is involved with a project at the West of Scotland PET Centre in which a high-purity germanium detector is being used to better understand and quantify the radioactivity being produced as a result of the production of fluorine-18 used in PET scans.

Area of academic expertise - outline

Dr O'Donnell's research predominantly involves the spectroscopy of gamma-rays and charged particles to probe the limits of existence of atomic nuclei. In addition, he uses these techniques to gain an understanding of how the internal structure of nuclei evolves towards the limits imposed on us by the fundamental interactions found in nature.

His current research interests involve in the study of octupole correlations in actinide nuclei. The properties of these pear-shaped nuclei can be studied using Coulomb excitation reactions and using lifetime measurements.

Having played an instrumental role in the design and constrution of the STFC-funded Light Ion Spectrometer Array, based at University of Jyvaskyla Accelerator Laboratory, Dr O'Donnell has significant experience and expertise in the building of hardware for nuclear physics experiments.

Dr O'Donnell is actively involved in both the planning and management of the Scottish Centre for the Application of Plasma-based Accelerators (SCAPA) at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. This role sees Dr O'Donnell providing nuclear physics expertise as part of a large multi-disciplinary team.

Current research activities

In addition to his investigations of fundamental nuclear physics, Dr O'Donnell is also involved in a number of projects involving the use of novel scintillation-based materials and silicon photomultipliers as inexpensive radiation detectors. In particular, one of these projects is investigating the feasability of a medical device based on this technology for the detection of tumour margins post surgical excision. Another project is invstigating the use of such technology to improve the detection of space-based gamma-ray bursts which can be generated by the the most energetic events in the galaxy.

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

Dr O'Donnell has expertise in the Monte-Carlo simulation of radiation interactions with matter. He would be available for collaboration with companies or individuals looking to design radiation detectors or shielding.


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • A new avenue in the search for CP violation: Mössbauer spectroscopy of 227 Ac

    Scheck, M., Chapman, R., Dobaczewski, J., Ederer, C., Ivanov, P., Lorusso, G., O’Donnell, D. & Schröder, C., 26 May 2023, In: European Physical Journal A. 59, 5, 6 p., 116.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    1 Citation (Scopus)
    3 Downloads (Pure)
  • An innovative Superconducting Recoil Separator for HIE-ISOLDE

    Martel, I., Acosta, L., Aguado, J. L., Assie, M., Al-Aqeel, M. A. M., Ballarino, A., Barna, D., Berjillos, R., Bonora, M., Bontoiu, C., Borge, M. J. G., Briz, J. A., Bustinduy, I., Bottura, L., Catalina-Medina, L., Catford, W., Cederkäll, J., Davinson, T., de Angelis, G., Devred, A., & 52 othersDíaz-Martín, C., Ekelöf, T., Felice, H., Fynbo, H., Foussat, A. P., Florin, R., Freeman, S. J., Gaffney, L., García-Ramos, C., Gentini, L., Gonzalez-Cordero, C. A., Guazzoni, C., Haziot, A., Heinz, A., Jimenez, J. M., Johnston, K., Jonson, B., Kirby, G., Kirby, O., Kurtukian-Nieto, T., Labiche, M., Liebsch, M., Losasso, M., Laird, A., Muñoz, J. L., Nara Singh, B. S., Neyens, G., Napiorkowski, P. J., O'Donnell, D., Page, R. D., Perini, D., Resta-López, J., Riddone, G., Rodriguez, J. A., Rodin, V., Russenschuck, S., Sharma, V. R., Salguero-Andújar, A. M., Sánchez-Segovia, J., Riisager, K., Sánchez-Benítez, A. M., Shepherd, B., Siesling, E., Smallcombe, J., Stanoiu, M., Tengblad, O., Thermeau, J. P., Tommasini, D., Uusitalo, J., Varnasseri, S., Welsch, C. P. & Willering, G., 31 Aug 2023, In: Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms. 541, p. 176-179 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    1 Downloads (Pure)
  • Decay spectroscopy at the two-proton drip line: radioactivity of the new nuclides 160Os and 156W

    Briscoe, A. D., Page, R. D., Uusitalo, J., Joss, D. T., AlAqeel, M. A. M., Alayed, B., Andel, B., Antalic, S., Auranen, K., Ayatollahzadeh, H., Badran, H., Barber, L., Beeton, G., Birova, M., Bogdanoff, V., Clark, R. M., Cubiss, J. G., Cullen, D. M., Deary, J., Forsberg, U., & 44 othersGrahn, T., Greenlees, P. T., Hilton, J. B., Illana, A., Joukainen, H., Judson, D. S., Julin, R., Jutila, H., Keatings, J. M., Labiche, M., Leino, M., Lewis, M. C., Louko, J., Luoma, M., Martel, I., McCarter, A., McKee, P. P., Mosat, P., Nathaniel, S. N., Neuvonen, O., O'Donnell, D., Ojala, J., Page, C. A. A., Plaza, A. M., Pakarinen, J., Papadakis, P., Parr, E., Partanen, J., Rahkila, P., Ruotsalainen, P., Sandzelius, M., Sarén, J., Saygi, B., Smallcombe, J., Smith, J. F., Sorri, J., Sullivan, C. M., Szwec, S., Tann, H., Tolosa-Delgado, A., Uusikylä, E., Venhart, M., Waring, L. J. & Zimba, G., 7 Nov 2023, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Physics Letters B. 847, 8 p., 138310.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

    Open Access
    2 Citations (Scopus)
  • Photo-response of the N= Z nucleus 24 Mg

    Deary, J., Scheck, M., Schwengner, R., O'Donnell, D., Bemmerer, D., Beyer, R., Hensell, T., Junghans, A. R., Kögler, T., Müller, S. E., Römer, K., Schmidt, K., Turkat, S., Urlaß, S., Wagner, A., Bowry, M., Adsley, P., Agar, O., Chapman, R., Crespi, F. C. L., & 23 othersDoherty, D. T., Friman-Gayer, U., Herzberg, R-D., Isaak, J., Janssens, R. V. F., Kröll, T., Löher, B., Nara Singh, B. S., von Neumann-Cosel, P., Pellegri, L., Peters, E. E., Rainovski, G., Savran, D., Smith, J. F., Spieker, M., Thirolf, P. G., Triambak, S., Tornow, W., Venhart, M., Wiedeking, M., Wieland, O., Yates, S. W. & Zilges, A., 7 Sept 2023, In: The European Physical Journal A. 59, 10 p., 198.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    1 Downloads (Pure)
  • Coulomb excitation of 222Rn

    Spagnoletti, P., Butler, P. A., Gaffney, L. P., Abrahams, K., Bowry, M., Cederkäll, J., Chupp, T., de Angelis, G., De Witte, H., Garrett, P. E., Goldkuhle, A., Henrich, C., Illana, A., Johnston, K., Joss, D. T., Keatings, J. M., Kelly, N. A., Komorowska, M., Konki, J., Kröll, T., & 24 othersLozano, M., Nara Singh, B. S., O'Donnell, D., Ojala, J., Page, R. D., Pedersen, L. G., Raison, C., Reiter, P., Rodriguez, J. A., Rosiak, D., Rothe, S., Scheck, M., Seidlitz, M., Shneidman, T. M., Siebeck, B., Sinclair, J., Smith, J. F., Stryjczyk, M., Van Duppen, P., Viñals, S., Virtanen, V., Wrzosek-Lipska, K., Warr, N. & Zielińska, M., 22 Feb 2022, In: Physical Review C. 105, 2, 10 p., 024323.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    6 Citations (Scopus)
    23 Downloads (Pure)