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PhD Graduates

To give an impression of what it is to be a PhD student at MESA+, we interview all finishing students and ask them to share their experiences. An abstract of their thesis’s can also be found, so that it can supply an idea of the scientific part of their work, while the interviews are intended to give an impression of the working environment of a PhD student at MESA+. To view more interviews, select a year in the directory to the left.

Monchai Jitvisate Interfacial structure and double layer capacitance of ionic liquids’ Central to this thesis are ionic liquids: organic salts that are in liquid phase at room temperature. ‘There are many unique properties which make these liquids promising for future applications,’ says Monchai Jitvisate. Alexandr Dolgov ‘Plasma-assisted cleaning of extreme EUV optics’ In this thesis it is shown that Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) plasma cleaning technology is feasible. ‘An EUV pulse generates a low-temperature plasma, along with photo-induced surface activation,’ Alexandr Dolgov explains. ‘These two combine, to yield a highly reactive environment that quickly and efficiently removes amorphous carbon.’ Tatsuki Hashimoto ‘Unconventional superconductors with spin-orbit interaction’ In this thesis superconductivity and its transport properties are studied in the presence of spin-orbit interaction. Theory building, calculations and simulations, were central in this PhD research. ‘At the Interfaces & Correlated Electrons (ICE) Group, we had lots of fruitful discussions,’ says Tatsuki Hashimoto. Maryna meretska ‘Taming a white led’ In this thesis experimental and theoretical tools are defined, to connect phosphor powder properties to the colour point of white LEDs. ‘I was really surprised a systematic study didn’t already exist,’ says Maryna Meretska. ‘Despite the fast-growing market penetration, there are currently only trial and error approaches for white LED modelling.’ Xiaojue Zhu ‘Taylor-Couette (TC) and Rayleigh-Bénard (RB) turbulence: the role of the boundaries’ This thesis covers mainly the broad topic of Taylor-Couette (TC) and Rayleigh-Bénard (RB) turbulence, with wall roughness. The roughness elements vary in shape, size, sparseness, and alignment. Joline Roemers-van Beek ‘Immobilized Carbon Nanofibers; a Novel Structured Catalyst Support’ This thesis explores a novel catalyst support design. ‘The application potential served as an inspiration,’ Joline Roemers-van Beek says. ‘Carbon nanofibers on structured supports could well improve ceramic structured catalyst supports, for example monoliths in cars, and make them suitable for efficient catalyst recycling.’ Jorick van 't Oever ‘On the interaction of waves carrying light, sound and small particles’ In this thesis the use of acoustic waves, to concentrate small particles from water, is explored. This is a promising approach in novel lab-on-a-chip functionalities. ‘Two acoustophoretic forces determine particle behaviour here,’ says Jorick van ’t Oever. Wouter Vijselaar ‘Bright ways to utilize the sun: towards solar-to-fuel devices’ This thesis discusses the use of silicon as a base material for solar-to-fuel (S2F) devices. Silicon is an attractive semiconductor material, already proven itself in a wide range of applications. ‘In photovoltaic (PV) cells and in S2F, silicon can be used. However, it is not the most obvious material to choose,’ says Wouter Vijselaar. Mengdi Yang ‘Hot-wire assisted atomic layer deposition of tungsten films’ This thesis focuses on the application of hot wire atomic layer deposition (HWALD). ‘Ultra-large-scale integration of microelectronics is rapidly evolving,’ Mengdi Yang says. ‘This novel technique is promising for next generation fabrication strategies, to achieve conformal and uniform thin films, with very precise control of thicknesses on structures of increasing complexity.’ Sudeshna Roy ‘Hydrodynamic theory of wet particle systems’ In this thesis wet granular materials are studied. ‘They are ubiquitous in geology and in many real-world applications,’ says Sudeshna Roy. On the basis of literature research and advanced simulations, at the Multi Scale Mechanics (MSM) Group, Sudeshna aimed at better fundamental understanding a range of phenomena. Marinke van der Helm ‘Electrical and microfluidic technologies for organs-on-chips, mimicking blood-brain barrier and gut tissues’ In this thesis organs-on-chips were studied which contain micrometer-sized fluid-filled channels. ‘Herein various human cells can be cultured,’ says Marinke van der Helm. ‘Thus, a controlled environment is created that resembles the microenvironment of a certain organ. I focused on two of them: on blood-brain barrier (BBB) and on gut tissue.’ Magdalena Malankowska ‘Membrane integration in biomedical microdevices’ In this thesis the focus was on design, development and fabrication of microfluidic devices with integrated membranes. ‘In the first part of the work, a microfluidic system for blood oxygenation - a so called lung-on-a-chip - was introduced,’ says Magdalena Malankowska. Andrea Leoncini ‘Alkylation and pre-organisation of diglycolamide ligands on flexible platforms for nuclear waste treatment’ In this PhD work the synthesis and evaluation of new diglycolamide (DGA) ligands is described. ‘We aimed at developing new pre-organised ligands with improved extraction and separation efficiency of actinide and lanthanide ions,’ says Andrea Leoncini. Devashish ‘Accurate modelling of light at the nanoscale for efficient solar cells’ In this thesis three main ways in which the symmetry of a 3D photonic band gap crystals is disrupted, are described. ‘By studying symmetry-disruptions, we learn a lot about nanophotonic media, as functioning in everyday life,’ D. Devashish says. Arjen Pit ‘Electrowetting as a tool for two phase flow microfluidic operations’ In this thesis the focus is on: the design, fabrication and implementation of a microfluidic chip, capable of manipulating small water droplets in oil flow. ‘This choice is motivated by the desire to analyse individual cells,’ says Arjen Pit.