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PhD Graduates 2017

To give an impression of what it is like to be a PhD student at MESA+, we interview all finishing students and ask them to share their experiences.

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. 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. 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. Sergio Vázquez-Córdova ‘Erbium-doped channel waveguide amplifiers in amorphous aluminium oxide and crystalline potassium double tungstate’ In this PhD project two different platforms were studied: Al2O3 and KRE(WO4)2 for the design, fabrication and characterization of erbium-doped waveguides. Matteo Giani ‘Modelling the self-assembly of clathrin coats’ In this thesis the assembly of clathrin coats in the presence of adaptor proteins was studied, through computer simulations in coarse-grained models and through statistical mechanics. ‘We aimed at reproducing and studying the minimal conditions that lead to the successful formation of functional aggregates,’ Matteo Giani says. Yean-Sheng Yong "Potassium double tungstate waveguides with high ytterbium concentration for optical amplification" In this thesis rare-earth-ion-doped amplifiers were studied, being key enabling devices for modern telecommunication systems. ‘Nowadays chip-scale amplifiers are introduced,’ says Yean-Sheng Yong. ‘Rare-earth-ion-doped optical amplifiers are used in long-haul fiber optic communication systems. Varghese Mathai "Buoyant particles and fluid turbulence" In this thesis, first, the Lagrangian dynamics of tiny bubbles in a turbulent flow were studied. Experimental measurements of their acceleration statistics were performed. Gravity was found to induce intense accelerations even for tiny particles and bubbles in turbulence. These findings were published in Physical Review Letters. Alexander Klein ‘Laser impact on flying drops’ In this thesis, the response of liquid drops to the impact of a laser pulse is studied. ‘The pulse generates a local phase change,’ says Alexander Ludwig Klein. ‘This change is concentrated both in time and in space: it is localized to the drop surface, and much shorter than the fluid-dynamic response of the drop.’ Paul-Christiaan Spruijtenburg "‘Imperfection, holes and defects in silicon quantum dots" In this thesis spin and charge carried by holes (typified as the absence of a single electrons) in quantum dots, is investigated. ‘We explored the origin of defects in quantum dot formation, coming about by either disorder or issues arising in fabrication,’ Paul-Christiaan Spruijtenburg says. ‘Also we devised methods of eliminating them.’ Janneke Veerbeek "Monolayer functionalization of silicon micro and nanowires: towards solar-to-fuel and sensing devices" Silicon is an attractive semiconductor, especially when taking advantage of the larger surface area of silicon micro and nanowires. This thesis aims at the formation of molecular monolayers on H-terminated silicon micro and nanowires, for solar-to-fuel and sensing devices. Bojian Xu ‘Charge transport in nanoscale lateral and vertical organic semiconductor devices’ In this thesis research charge transport in organic semiconductor devices, with different device configurations, was investigated. Two organic semiconductor materials were focused on: DXP... Roberto Floris ‘Removal of nanoparticles in drinking water treatment processes’ This thesis investigates the removal - and removal mechanisms - of engineered nanomaterials and nanoparticles in drinking water treatment plants. The potential release into aquatic environments, raises concerns... Roger Coloma Ribera ‘Growth and thermal oxidation of Ru and ZrO2 thin films as oxidation protective layers’ This thesis focuses on studying capping materials that prevent oxidation of underneath layers in several applications, for example in: microelectronics (gate dielectrics, memory devices), photovoltaics and extreme ultraviolet lithography optics... Marko van Dalfsen ‘High-power, highly-efficient thulium-doped potassium double tungstate channel waveguide lasers’ In this thesis the fabrication and characterization of compact channel waveguide lasers were central. Thulium-doped layers were grown onto undoped potassium yttrium double... Pascal Sleutel ‘Droplets: drag, coalescence and impact’ In this thesis, first of all, a stream of widely spaced high-velocity droplets was demonstrated in a novel way. ‘Studying these ultrahigh velocity droplets involved a novel experimental, numerical and theoretical approach,’... Kurt Vergeer ‘Structure and functional properties of epitaxial PbZrxTi1-xO3 films’ The work described in this thesis is focused on the characterization and understanding of epitaxial, clamped, dense PbZrxTi1-xO3 (PZT) films.
‘The main aim was to better understand these types of materials,’ Kurt Vergeer says...
Shazia Ilyas ‘Multifunctional weak polyelectrolyte multilayers for membrane applications’ In this thesis the main focus was on using weak polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEM) coatings, to fabricate multifunctional PEM based membranes for liquid applications on ultrafiltration membrane supports... Elmer van Geijn ‘Spintronic effects at nickel-graphene interfaces’ In this thesis physical phenomena, like magnetoresistance, occurring in organic spintronic devices, were studied. ‘Increasing the understanding of these... Naveen Kumar ‘Surface charge characterization of solid-liquid interfaces, using Atomic Force Microscopy’ The aim of this work is to understand scientific challenges in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Charging behavior and ion adsorption at solid-... Sergei Sokolov ‘Dynamic tuning of photonic crystal nanocavities’ In this thesis experimental investigations and control of properties, of single and coupled photonic crystal nanocavities are presented. Photonic... Loreto Oyarte Galvez ‘Anomalous intruder response in diverse granular systems’ In this thesis three distinct granular systems with an intruder were described. ‘From various experiments, we were able to relate macroscopic behaviour to new microscopic details,’ Loreto Oyarte Galvez says. ‘In the case of a build-in rotor - immersed in a granular gas - we... Michiel van Limbeek ‘The dynamics of Leidenfrost drops’ This thesis focuses on the sudden reduction of the heat transfer rate in the context of spray cooling: a remarkable phenomenon occurring at strongly elevated plate temperatures, above the saturation temperature of the liquid spray... Yunlong Yu ‘Switchable adhesion and friction using polymer brushes’ In this thesis switchable friction and adhesion is studied. Stimulus responsive end-anchored polymers forming a brush, are used. ‘We can make smart systems, composed of polymers, that respond to...