Promotion date: 15 March 2002
Mária Péter conducted her research at the research group Materials Science and Technology of Polymers, one of the participating groups in the MESA+ institute. In the following interview we ask her about her experiences at MESA+.
What was the subject of your PhD-research?
I used organometallic poly(ferrocenylsilanes) in order to create functionalized surfaces. I used three approaches. First I attached thiol end groups to the polymer chain in order to be able to fabricate polymer “monolayer” on gold and to study the electrochemical properties of the layers. A second approach was to use the water soluble poly(ferrocenylsilanes) to create multilayer structures. In the third approach the polymers were used as inks in microcontact printing. The etch resistant properties of the polymer towards reactive ion etching allowed the fabrication of structures on multiple lenghtscales.
How did you like your research?
I enjoyed it very much. Although I co-operated with some other researchers, I mainly carried out the work by myself. It was interesting to work in this group because of the different nationalities of the PhD-students. When I started about 75% of the group consisted of Dutch PhD-students, during the four years of my research it changed to 25%!
Furthermore, I like it that you can focus more on your research here compared to for instance Romania/Hungary, where I come from. There is also less distance here at MESA+ between professors and PhD-students. Another pleasant aspect of working here is that you have sufficient time to think about your PhD-research. There is enough time for creative discussions and reflection on your research. You can develop your own ideas at MESA+.
The only negative thing I can think of is the safety of the old building which houses the chemical engineering labs. [Fortunately, renovation and new buildings are high priorities of the university board., editor.]
Why do you enjoy doing research so much?
I like to discover and experience new things. When I discover something new I always take care to repeat the experiment to be sure. Of course I cannot discover everything by myself, so I also enjoy reading about new scientific discoveries. Although reading 20 papers for a conference is not always fun.
What are your future plans?
I would like to continue my research in nanotechnology. I don’t know whether I will be conducting research at an academic institute or industry in the future. Maybe I will return to Romania or Hungary. For the moment I have a postdoc position here at MESA+.