My name is Ellen Dautzenberg, I am 26 years old and I just recently started my PhD in Wageningen. I come from Germany, but “just across the border” near Duisburg.
I studied for my Bachelor in Chemistry in Düsseldorf and for the Master in Chemistry in Essen both with a strong focus on organic synthesis. In my Bachelor thesis I synthesized different functionalized BINOL-phosphates which was used as asymmetric counteranions in gold catalysis. In my Master thesis I worked on supramolecular liquid crystals to determine structure-relationships which will hopefully enable the design of new functional materials for applications. This is so to say the “crosslink” to Wageningen. Here I will work on porous materials for affinity layers in gas sensor devices. We will use the change of dielectric properties by gas adsorption which can be measured in a change in the capacitance of the device. Hopefully, we will synthesize selective, porous affinity layers which will be deposited onto the surface of an electrode. Afterwards the devices will be deeply studied to learn about the sensing mechanisms, the selectivity towards one gas in favour of another and the thermodynamic properties of the device.
Since I just started my PhD in November, I spend the last weeks mostly on organizational stuff, literature research and project planning, but I’m looking forward to work in the lab instead of just looking into it jealously from the outside.
Beside chemistry and the “working part” of my life, I really like to spend time with my family and friends. I like practising karate which I started when I was 8 years old and I really enjoy ballroom or latin dances with friends.
Next time I hopefully can write more about my research and the progress in the lab.