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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+.

Hainan Zhang “Stripline-based microfluidic NMR probes” In this thesis the main goal was to develop a stripline-based microfluidic device for on-chip microscale Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. ‘This method has great potential... Wesley van den Beld “Graphene and permalloy integration in functional fluidic and solid-state devices” This thesis was aimed at developing novel technologies for functional micro- and nanofluidic devices, as well as exploring the functionality of first examples of such devices... Anirban Ghosh “Engineering ferroelectric switching dynamics” In this thesis it is shown how multiple states can be created in a capacitor structure that comprises ferroelectric PZT (lead-zirconium-titanate). ‘We were able to control the local electric field at the ferroelectric-electrode... Femi Ojambati “The stirring of light in complex nanophotonic media” This thesis presents experimental investigations into the propagation of light inside both disordered and ordered complex photonic systems. The experimental results are interpreted using theoretical and numerical... Diana Otalvaro Gutierrez “Of spinterfaces and spin transport across nanolayers” In this thesis interfaces are studied that play an important role in charge transfer and charge/spin transport along and across thin layers. ‘Quantum mechanical understanding of these processes is guiding device... Basma Waisi “Produced water treatment for beneficial use: emulsified oil removal” In this thesis a novel carbon material was developed for emulsified droplets separation from oily wastewaters, such as produced water resulting from oil extraction. An activated carbon nanofiber nonwoven (ACNFN) material is... Mustafa Al-Furaiji “Combined forward osmosis/membrane distillation, to treat hyper-saline produced water” In this thesis special emphasis was given to the hybrid forward osmosis/membrane distillation (FO-MD) processes as the most suitable solution for the treatment of produced water: this is the water co-produced with oil extraction... Burcu Gümüşcu “Engineered hydrogel microarrays for lab-on-a-chip applications” Hydrogels are considered to be a class of smart materials that finds future application in diagnostic, therapeutic, and in fundamental science tools for miniaturized total analysis systems. In this thesis three major... Riccardo Guareschi “Modeling excited states in biomolecules” In this thesis, novel computational tools were developed to simulate structural relaxation of molecular systems following photo-excitation: light electronically excites the system, which might then undergo significant geometrical... Laura Grana Suarez “Electrostatic interactions in the formation of supramolecular nanoparticles” In this thesis non-covalent, most notably electrostatic, interactions are taken into account in the formation of supramolecular nanoparticles (SNP) that form a novel and powerful tool for new developments in... Prosper Ngabonziza "Controlled thin film growth and fabrication of topological insulator nanomaterials" In this dissertation, a combined thin film growth and quantum transport study on superconductor/topological insulator (TI) hybrid devices was performed.
Careful preparation of TI thin films and their ...
Slav Semerdzhier “Hierarchical self-assembly of alpha-synuclein: from disease to materials” In this thesis the interactions driving the hierarchical self-assembly of α-synuclein is studied. The chemical rules that apply here are essential to be identified, for two very different reasons, Slav Semerdzhiev explains... Jin Lian "Control of resonances in photonic crystal waveguides" The aim of this thesis was to provide theories and models, to explain transmission, reflection and dispersion spectra of high quality resonances in photonic crystal waveguides. Developing experimental methods to probe... Bettina Schmidt “Supramolecular assemblies based on glycoconjugated dyes” In this thesis project supramolecular assemblies were studied that can be used to visualize biological recognition events. However, there is a second line of research, Bettina Schmidt adds. ‘While some dyes assemble into... Pablo Gonzalez Rodriguez “Soft ceramics and high temperature lubrication” The main focus of this thesis was on developing next generation solid lubricants, for high temperature forming of steel. These lubricants are based on ceramic nanoparticles which are resistant to temperature and oxidation... Bart Schurink “Microfabrication and microfluidics for 3D brain-on-a-chip” ‘In this thesis work 3D environments – shaped as inverted pyramids - were fabricated for in-vitro electrophysiology and made available for conventional microelectrode arrays. A reliable platform was realized by combining micro... Mustafa Akin Sefünc “New architectures for Integrated Optics” In this thesis one of the main drawbacks of polymer waveguides for optical applications was addressed: the typically low refractive index, making them disadvantageous in offering sharp bent waveguides, causing high bend losses... Lantian Chang “Novel integrated chip for medical skin imaging” In this thesis the design and development of an OCT (optical coherence tomography) chip was studied. The chip is intended to finally be used as a hand-held OCT probe for skin applications.
‘We were able to shrink down the OCT chip-size..
Roger Brunet Espinosa “Structured catalysts and reactors for three phase catalytic reactions” ‘In this thesis work, fabricating catalytic reactors for fast multiphase reactors and improving catalytic activity and selectivity, go hand in hand,’ Roger Brunet Espinosa says. ‘As a member of the Catalytic Processes and... Damon Rafieian “TiO2 thin film based photocatalytic microreactors compared” In this thesis the formation of TiO2 thin films is the starting point of evaluating various reactor configurations. Damon Rafieian used DC magnetron reactive sputtering and he characterized the dynamics of the process,... Rezvaneh Amrollahi Buky “Engineering and design of photocatalysts” In this thesis the focus was on the engineering and design of effective photocatalysts able to catalyze the oxidative conversion of hydrocarbons. Different procedures were used involving sol-gel precursors and impregnation... Mattia Morassutto “Cold field emission in microreactors, to perform chemical reactions” In this thesis a novel process is described combining microreactor technology and cold field emission (CFE) of electrons into various liquids. By doing so, aromatic hydrocarbons can be partially reduced in a new way. ... Bjorn de Wagenaar "Electrically analyzing sperm cells with lab-on-a-chip devices" In this thesis, two different setups are proposed to study sperm cells individually. The first setup is designed to entrap a sperm cell on a fixed position, allowing analysis of a single cell over time... Bijoy Bera “Enhanced oil recovery studied along three lines of research” In this thesis enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is studied. Bijoyendra Bera focused on a main step in this process, namely wettability alteration. In such a process, an oil-wet reservoir-rock is turned into a waterwet surface, which is then... Cecilia Laborde “High-frequency impedance spectroscopy using innovative nanocapacitor arrays” In this thesis electrical detection in liquids is investigated, using high-frequency signals. This new approach overcomes screening phenomena due to mobile salt ions, which makes electrostatic sensing of a target... Kasper Orsel “A valuable approach to study plasma dynamics for pulsed laser deposition” In this thesis the internal plasma dynamics and chemistry is studied as used in pulsed laser deposition (PLD). A spectroscopic spatiotemporal mapping of the plasma plume was realized. ‘In growing deposited layers complex process parameters are at stake,’ says Kasper Orsel. ‘We inspected the plasma in a... Krzyszof Trzaskus "Hollow fiber membranes promising in removing engineered nanoparticles" In this thesis attention is given to the removal of engineered nanoparticles from their aquatic environment after usage. ‘Membrane technology is a promising solution, since porous membranes are designed to retain colloidal... Jenny Brinkmann “Promising strategies for cell-interactive surfaces” In this thesis strategies to anchor bioactive ligands, employing supramolecular host-guest chemistry, are presented and discussed. Creating biomimetic materials with tailored cellular responses upon engaging with cells, is a core challenge in biomaterials, medical devices.. Arshdeep Sidhu "Human α-synuclein protein as scaffold for promising hybrid bionanostructures" In this thesis fibrillization characteristics of α-synuclein are studied. The αSynuclein fibrils can serve as scaffolds for creating hybrid bionanostructures. ‘Fibrillization of αSyn can be carefully modulated by solution conditions,’... Huiyu Yuan "Exfoliation of layered titanates occurs within seconds" This thesis focuses on metal oxide nanosheets that show advantages in applications such as thin film growth and design of functional devices. The exfoliation on layered metal oxides and the formation of their Langmuir Blodgett... Joël Geerlings “AFM probes for sensing, actuation and deposition” In this thesis the functionalization of scanning probes for sensing, actuation and deposition was investigated. Regarding actuation, the integration of an electrostatic microactuator into an AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) probe was investigated, to obtain a mechanically... Jarno Groenesteijn "‘Measure minute microfluidic parameters on-chip" This thesis focuses on realizing and characterizing a microfluidic platform that allows for on-chip integration of many devices. Microfluidic devices are designed to actually measure fluidic parameters to be used in... Shrikrishnan Sankaran "Novel interaction designs for bacterial and supramolecular systems" This thesis represents an attempt to explore the possibilities of developing novel platforms in which bacterial cells and recombinant proteins are incorporated in supramolecular biological systems. ‘New ways of developing... Somnath Ghosh "‘Diffusive dynamics and flow behaviour of colloidal hard spheres" In this thesis the influence of nearby walls is studied for understanding flow dynamics of colloid suspensions. These effects are of relevance for practical problems where colloids occur inside capillaries. ‘My PhD work can be... Ioana Ilie "Chameleon behavior of α-synuclein captured in novel computational model" This thesis deals with α-synuclein, the protein known to form aggregates commonly found in the brain of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). A coarse-grained model is developed that simplifies the protein into a short chain of five particles. These can assume different shapes... Rick Elbersen "Pillared solar cell devices show far better efficiency results" In this thesis new alternatives are investigated for silicon to take part in future photovoltaic (PV) cells and in solar-to-fuel (S2F) devices. Pillared solar cells showed an improvement when compared to current flat solar... Maarten Groen "Proportional control valves for minute gas flows, using standard fabrication techniques" The thesis describes the achievements to create miniaturized, proportional control valves for minute gas flows. Four valve designs were presented, based on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology and surface channel technology... Yawar Abbas “An embedded chloride sensor for concrete, based on electrochemical measurements” Several hypotheses have been proposed on the mechanisms responsible for the death of neuronal cells in Parkinson’s Disease (PD). In this thesis (Mechanisms of membrane disruption by alpha-synuclein aggregates) a... Sarah Jane Asshoff "Design of novel liquid crystal materials" The responsiveness of liquid materials makes them ideal candidates for the design and development of smart materials, with potential applications in soft robotics and sensing. In this thesis the use of photo-responsive liquid crystals is studied. ‘The photo-switching of these doped materials occurs at the nano-scale... Cheryl Tanardi “Better predict the performance of grafted ceramic membranes” Solvent resistant nanofiltration (SRNF) is a useful tool for separations in organic media, such as the removal of impurities from used solvents, recycling of solvents, or the recovery of products from reaction mixtures in... Tushar Satav "Understanding multivalent interactions within a biological context" In this thesis a weakly multivalent system has been developed. The result is a model system with a small multivalency enhancement factor, thus ensuring higher valences of interaction avoiding kinetically trapped state of the... Siew Jean Goh “Using waveguides for XUV high-harmonic generation” In this thesis a unique XUV source based on high-harmonic generation method is investigated. Using waveguides allows for spatial and spectral control. There are a number of fundamentally different approaches. ‘For... Imtiaz Ahmad "Self-assembly of nanorods is a real challenge" In this thesis the deposition of gold nanoparticles is carried out after evaporation of suspension droplets on various surfaces; and thereafter their characterization and self-assembly is investigated... Deepak Tunuguntla "Modelling the dynamics of rapid dense granular materials over inclined channels" In this thesis three approaches are combined to model the dynamics of rapid dense granular materials: in-depth theoretical analysis, discrete particle simulations (DPMs) and micro-macro mapping techniques. ‘A beautiful blend is... Beata Koziara "Using membranes in innovative dehydration processes" In this thesis the properties of thin films from highly sulfonated polyetheretherketone (SPEEK) have been investigated within the context of their application as membranes for the dehydration of compressed carbon... Kamila Koichumanova "Studying the performance of catalysts in real reaction conditions" In situ spectroscopy methods can be used to study the structure of the catalytic active site and reaction sequences, under real reaction conditions. In this thesis Attenuated Total Reflection Infrared (ATR-IR) is discussed in... Harro Mengers "Using catalytic membrane reactors for the direct production dimethyl carbonate" The aim of this thesis is to investigate the potential of membrane reactors for the direct conversion of CO2 into dimethyl carbonate (DMC). ‘The use of membrane reactors for this application is rather unexplored,’... Himanshu Chaudhary "Fibrillization disrupts membrane model system" Several hypotheses have been proposed on the mechanisms responsible for the death of neuronal cells in Parkinson’s Disease (PD). In this thesis (Mechanisms of membrane disruption by alpha-synuclein aggregates) a... Raquel Mejia-Ariza "Size control and surface functionalization of multivalent non-covalent and porous nanomaterials" Multivalent non-covalent and porous nanomaterials, such as supramolecular nanoparticles (SNPs) and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), are important for future applications, such as drug delivery systems and contrast agents. In this thesis, these otherwise... René Heimbuch "Which material possesses the best electronic properties when structures are most tiny?" When length scales diminish more and more, single electron behaviour is subjected to complicated quantum effects. In this thesis the conductance of systems is studied containing Au (gold), Ir (iridium) and Pt (platinum) wires, the middle one being the favourite of author René Heimbuch. Rogier Schoeman "Combining cells in order to create an antibody factory" In this thesis a range of microfluidic devices is described and discussed, which finally results in an integrated chip design. Herewith high-troughput electrofusion of cells on one chip is possible which leads to the production of functional hybridomas. Sander Wildeman "An open attitude towards studying phase phenomena" A wide variety of phenomena was studied in this thesis. Liquids and solids showed their capacity to withstand large tensions in the experiments Sander Wildeman performed. ‘Phase transitions can be sudden and explosive as compared to transitions taking place under milder conditions,’ he explains. Jörn Epping "Novel waveguides cover whole spectrum" In this thesis a novel fabrication technique for manufacturing large-core silicon nitride (Si3N4) waveguides was investigated. Two nonlinear conversion schemes were considered: seeded four-wave mixing and supercontinuum generation. ‘In future a handheld lab-on-a-chip light source... Hairong Wu "Powerful tools to study the dynamics of self-assembled monolayers" Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) have a great potential to be used in molecular electronic devices such as diodes, transistors and switches. The techniques to study the dynamics of these layers however are limited, says Hairong Wu. ‘The efforts in this thesis to monitor the dynamics of SAMs... Wilco Bouwhuis "Fluid dynamics is of prime importance in inkjet printing and Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for example" In this thesis various mechanisms by which droplets can deform, are resolved in detail, in both fundamental and industrial contexts. ‘Fluid dynamics is of prime importance in inkjet printing and Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for example,’ Wilco Bouwhuis says. ‘Our simulations Trieu Nguyen "A unique two-phase centrifugal set-up for microfluidic energy conversion" This PhD thesis presents energy conversion systems, based on motion of ionic charges in micro and nano confinements. Power obtained from the motion of ionic charges in the electrical double layer - by applying an external driving force - and a novel centrifugal set-up, were eye-catching... Boni Boksteen "Optimization methodologies for power transistors" This PhD-work focuses on optimizing power transistors. These are designed to withstand high voltages and currents, and serve as a key component in present and future consumer compact fluorescent and solid-state lights, as well as in many other (e.g. automotive) electronics. ‘The developed optimized devices in... Erwin van der Poel "Computers should calculate instead of communicate" In his thesis work Erwin van der Poel developed novel numerical approaches, to study complex phenomena in thermal convection. Increasing computational power allows for studying turbulence, by advanced simulation and calculating techniques. ‘We worked on optimizing new... Hasan Yilmaz "Scattering materials as optical lenses" In this thesis, new advanced optical methods are demonstrated that benefit from random light scattering through disordered photonic media. Focusing and high-resolution optical imaging applications are aimed at. ‘Our approach is relatively new,’ says HasanYılmaz. ‘New... Marieke Snelder "Twente is known for their thorough research" In this thesis the promising combination of two particular materials is studied: an s-wave superconductor and a topological insulator. ‘We succeeded to induce superconductivity in topological insulator surface states,’ Marieke Snelder says. Next step was to better understand... Bas Goorden "An intriguing and user-friendly innovation on authentication" In this thesis the use of shaped wavefronts led to an unprecedented demonstration: quantum-secure authentication of a physical unclonable key. The key is a multiple-scattering medium and cannot be copied. ‘We argue it is the most secure practical authentication method currently available,’... Filipp Müller "Comparing electron and hole spin qubits in one and the same device" Quantum dots are promising to host spin quantum bits (qubits) for future quantum information processing. In the quest for future quantum CMOS technology, Filipp Müller strongly believes the results obtained in his thesis work will prove to be essential. ‘We demonstrated the realization of a... Chris Hellenthal: "Surprised by tunneling in liquid environments" Quantum mechanical tunneling enables Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Spectroscopy, to image and manipulate features down to the single atom scale. Using the apparatus in a different way – extracting information from a distance/voltage trace instead of the conventionally used... Loan Le Thi Ngoc "New gold nanowire arrays for surface-enhanced Raman scattering" In this thesis a new top-down nanofabrication technology was developed, to realize gold nanowire arrays with tunable separation nanogaps. ‘Reaching nanogaps down to 5 nm enabled huge surface-enhanced Raman Scattering factors, which was a great achievement,’ ... Ksenia Makarenko "Most hours in the cleanroom" New unconventional ways to build elements of electrical circuits - like dielectrophoresis, wedging transfer and bottom-up fabrication - were studied and presented in this thesis. ‘We built devices using inorganic/organic components, gold nanorods and nanoparticles in which new self-... Roberto Ricciardi "How to speed up chemical reactions in small lab devices" This thesis describes the development and activity of various organic and nanometallic catalysts, supported in different ways on the inner walls of glass microreactors. ‘Their catalytic activity is proven in a variety of acid-catalyzed reactions, C-C cross-couplings and reductions,’... Muharrem Bayraktar "In new mirror designs we have to deal with the physical limits of materials" In his thesis different aspects of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) optics are investigated: spectral purification of light sources, and a new class of piezoelectric based adaptive multilayer mirrors. ‘In new mirror designs we have to deal with the physical limits of materials,’ Yingnan Zhao "Treating groundwater with nano colloids" Because of over-fertilization in modern agriculture, nitrate and nitrite levels in groundwater are too high, making it undrinkable for humans. The problem is spread all over the world, in Europe as well as in China. In the eastern region, from which Yingnan Zhao originates,... Oscar Enriquez Paz y Puente "My way was paved" At a US Conference in 2010 Oscar Enriquez Paz y Puente met his Mesa+ supervisor, professor Deveray van der Meer (Physics of Fluids) at a student lunch. ‘He already knew about our Fluids Mechanics group in Mexico, which was a big advantage,’ he states just days before...