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Avril McDonald Prize for Jin Xu

06 May 2013

Jin Xu, student of the Topmaster on Nanoscience, won one of this year’s Avril McDonald Memorial Fund awards. The price is awarded to female students who have recently finished or are close to finishing their master’s degree to develop a proposal for their own PhD project. The awards are spread across all faculties and research areas (each year, no more than one prize can be awarded to each faculty).

Jin studied Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Science & Technology of China (USTC), China before joining the Topmaster of Nanoscience program of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials in September 2011. She is currently finalizing her master research project on organic-inorganic hybrid magnetolectrics in the department of polymer chemistry. In her research Jin is using the self-assembly of block copolymers containing one piezoelectric block to define with nanometer accuracy the complete three-dimensional structure of functional solids for the design of novel piezoelectric nanofoams and magnetoelectric materials. Composite materials with piezoelectric polymers already showed very promising properties (e.g. very high magnetoelectric coupling responses above room temperature). However, the unavoidable demixing/phase separation of polymer composites is a serious problem rendering them not very usable. In the novel approach that Jin uses demixing is no longer an issue as the composite phases are interconnected and locked into the 3D structure. Piezoelectric foams with improved signal to noise ratios, impedance matching, and sensitivity and magnetoelectric composites with improved magnetoelectric response can be predicted as the outcome of her research.

Her results already earned her the prize for the best poster in the field of polymer physics presented at the Dutch Polymer Days 2013 in Lunteren, The Netherlands, beginning of this year.

Last modified:04 July 2014 9.37 p.m.

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