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PhD Graduates 2017

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.

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. Gijs Kooij ‘Towards parallel-in-time simulations of turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection’ In this thesis Raleigh-Bénard (RB) convection was studied. Here, a layer of fluid is heated from below and cooled from above. ‘We developed novel numerical methods for simulation of RB convection,’ says Gijs Kooij. Satadal Dutta ‘Avalanche-mode silicon LEDs, for monolithic optical coupling in CMOS technology’ This thesis deals with the physics, design, and analysis of efficient light emitting diodes (LEDs) in silicon CMOS technology. ‘Within every modern appliances - for example in our smartphones - two separate worlds co-exist: the electric components and the optical functionality based on light based sensing,’ says Satadal Dutta. David Dubbink ‘Epitaxial Oxides on Silicon by Pulsed Laser Deposition’ In this thesis the integration of perovskite oxides on silicon is central. ‘These oxides offer a wide range of physical properties, making them interesting for use in new types of microelectronic devices,’ David Dubbink explains. ‘However, the integration should be epitaxial because the functional properties depend on its crystalline quality.’ Shanqiu Liu ‘Designer nanoparticles as efficient nucleation agents in polymer foaming’ In this thesis the design and synthesis of surface functionalized nanoparticles is central. ‘My main work was on low density nanocellular polymer nanocomposite foams,’ says Shanqiu Liu. ‘This is a promising class of materials with many potential applications, especially in high performance thermal insulation.’ Aijie Liu ‘Viral protein cages as building blocks for functional materials’ In this thesis strategies are described in order to take full advantage of virus protein capsids, to develop functional materials. ‘Proteins assemble in a well-defined way, making them very interesting in nanotechnology and in materials science,’ Aijie Liu explains. Adil Acun ‘Growth and characterization of silicene, germanene and hexagonal boron nitride’ In this thesis the properties and synthesis of silicene and germanene were addressed. ‘Because of their position in the periodic table, we think of them as “graphene’s cousins”, Adil Acun says. ‘The discovery of graphene, inspired the exploration of other 2D-materials: silicon and germanium are elements with similar features as carbon.’ Rindia Putri ‘Optical control over monomeric and multimeric protein hybrids’ In this thesis the focus was on achieving optical control over functional proteins. ‘This was done by connecting them to artificial molecular switches,’ Rindia Putri says. ‘We choose light because we can control it well, both in time and on different length scales. Above that light is relatively non-destructive towards protein systems.’ Pantelis Bampoulis ‘Structure and dynamics of two-dimensional confined water’ In this thesis the physical properties of water confined between two-dimensional materials are studied. ‘We performed experiments that challenge the physical limits,’ Pantelis Bampoulis says. ‘To that extent graphene, a two-dimensional material, proved a rich instrumental tool, and allowed us to investigate confined water structures.’ Vamsi Arza ‘Bubbles and drops in turbulent Taylor-Couette flow: numerical modelling and simulations’ In this thesis the dynamics of bubbles and drops dispersed in a turbulent Taylor-Couette (TC) flow is studied. ‘The work led to a variety of efficient and versatile numerical tools,’ Vamsi Spandan Arza says.