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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.

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.’ 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. Diana Grishina ‘3D silicon nanophotonics’ In this thesis a novel platform for 3D nanofabrications is proposed and demonstrated. ‘Our innovative approach is to pattern oblique surfaces in one step,’ Diana Grishina says. Rianne de Jong ‘The impact of raindrops on sand' In this thesis the impact of a raindrop is studied using high speed laser profilometry and high speed imaging. ‘As soon as a drop impacts on a granular bed, both the drop and the target start to deform,’ says Rianne de Jong. ‘For wettable grains also mixing occurs.’ Patrick de Wit ‘Funky inorganic fibers’ In this thesis inorganic porous hollow fibers are studied for various applications. Because of their high surface-area-to-volume ratio, they can be used as: membranes, catalysts, electrodes, or a combination of these. Tom Steentjes ‘Self-assembled monolayers probed by electrochemistry: from layer properties to sensors’ In this thesis two different types of monolayer surfaces are described, with the aim to tune and study their electron transfer properties. ‘Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) provide a highly tunable platform,’ says Tom Steentjes.