I’m back! After giving birth to my son in July, I am now back at work for four weeks already. Entering the lab and doing actual chemical experiments feels strange after avoiding that door for almost a year, but it’s good to be back. I missed my fume hood, my surfaces and even that feeling when you put a sample in the Ellipsometer, press ‘Measure’ and then wait to see if the last three days have been for nothing. When I was away, the old group of Bachelor and Master students finished, and a new batch has arrived. Next to relearning all machinery, I therefore also had to learn a lot of names and faces, and match them to desks, fume hoods and research projects. ALL fume hoods in my lab have switched owner and I can see the change. The cupboards have labels, the syringes are sorted on size, and the waste is collected in separate bins depending on toxicity. Change is good 🙂
Since this summer was not very productive for my research, I am still more or less at the same place as in my last blog. I am making fluorinated polymer brushes with antifouling and self-repairing properties, using my own synthesised monomers. The modelling of these systems is currently on hold, since I need experimental data to confirm the base of my model before continuing. I hope to have these data soon, so that I can wow the groups in Israel with my findings.