Master and Bachelor projects

Master projects

The Nanoionics group currently has several openings for Master projects in the area of electrochemical nanofluidics. In this research, we employ microfabrication to create liquid-filled, nanometer-scale channels and chambers in which small numbers of molecules (and even single molecules) are detected and manipulated by electrical means. This enables both fundamental experiments on the physics and chemistry of ionic systems on the nanometer scale, and allows us to explore the ultimate limits of electrochemical detection for (bio)sensor applications.

Project: Nanofluidics and single-molecule handling/analysis

We are currently combining our nanofluidic devices with microfluidic circuitry so as to actively control and manipulate the flow of molecules into the detection region. The goal of this project will be to integrate nanofluidic valves into the setup in order to reversibly seal the nanochannels/devices. It is the goal to trap small amounts of molecules or even single-molecules in the device and characterize them electrically. Tasks will include the design and microfabrication of nanofluidic components as well as electrical measurements of the electrochemical activity of molecules at the most sensitive levels (femtoampere range).

Project supervisor: Dr. Klaus Mathwig (k.h.mathwig@utwente.nl)

Figure: Nanofluidic device geometry.

Project: Ion correlations in ionic liquids

Ionic liquids (ILs) are liquefied salts composed solely of anions and cations, with practical applications in supercapacitors (see the Figure), lubrication, and colloidal dispersions. However, nothing is ever as easy as it seems. ILs molecularly rearrange on long time scales, much longer than their ionic solution counterparts. Why is this? In this project the successful candidate will investigate ionic correlations within ILs near the electrode surfaces, using frequency-modulated atomic force microscopy as the principle tool. Where will the project go? Possibilities include overscreening, lattice saturation, steric effects, and so forth. The project is experimentally complex with potentially high rewards. It is not for the faint-hearted.

Project supervisor: Dr. James R.T. Seddon (j.r.t.seddon@utwente.nl)

Figure: A schematic of an ionic liquid supercapacitor.

Interested?

We welcome students from all study programs with an interest in our research. To apply, please contact Prof. Serge Lemay (s.g.lemay@utwente.nl) or the project supervisor for an appointment.

Bachelor projects

We also have openings for Bachelor student projects. Because of the shorter time scales involved, we tailor each project to the student on a one-on-one basis rather than having official openings.

Interested?

We welcome students from all study programs with an interest in our research. To apply, please contact Prof. Serge Lemay (s.g.lemay@utwente.nl) for an appointment.