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Research Zernike (ZIAM) Optical Spectroscopy of Functional Nanosystems Hildner group

Student projects

Our group, Optical Spectroscopy of Fuctional Nanomaterials, offers student projects on an ongoing basis. Below, you find suggestions for projects that are in line with our current research, and are suitable as Master or Bachelor projects.
Feel free to contact Prof. Richard Hildner to discuss all options!

>>> Some of these projects can entirely be done from home, if desired to do so. For those, no lab access is needed.


Master/Bachelor research projects


Simulation of Fourier Microscopy of Supramolecular Nanostructures

Master / Bachelor research project (2020)
>>> Can entirely be done from home, if desired to do so.

Our idea:
Our group focuses on single objects, from the single molecule to aggregates of such molecules. Recently, it has been found that such structures can be used for efficient energy transport. Our goal is to observe and understand this transport using optical microscopy and spectroscopy. In this project we would like to run simulations of the Fourier image collected from the radiation emitted by nanofibres, study the influence of different parameters on the energy transport, and finally predict experimental results.

The Fourier image of a nanofiber
The Fourier image of a nanofiber

Your contribution:

- Finalize code to calculate Fourier images of ensembles of radiating dipoles with MATLAB/Octave
- Compare different models for supra-molecular structures and energy transfer
- Study the influence of structure, exciton delocalisation, and disorder on Fourier images
- Develop fitting algorithms to compare simulations with data

Contact us :
If you want to learn more and get to know us:

Prof. dr. Richard Hildner, Office: 5117.0011, Email: r.m.hildner rug.nl, Tel: +31 50 36 38149
Ioannis Touloupas, Office 5117.0006, Email: i.touloupas rug.nl, Tel: +31 50 36 32416

Full text as PDF


Characterization of a Joule heating stage for in-situ spectroscopy

Master / Bacholor research project (Spring 2020)

Our idea:
Controlled self-assembly (or crystallization) of organic molecules can significantly improve their optical and electronic properties, and is a crucial aspect for the fabrication of optoelectronic devices. To analyze the (re-) crystallization of organic materials, we designed a heating stage based on Joule heating of a transparent indium-tin-oxide (ITO) film, which readily integrates into a confocal spectroscopy setup. In this project, you will characterize the properties of the heating stage, such as temperature-stability, temperature-uniformity, and degradation over several heating cycles.

ITO heating stage
ITO heating stage

Your contribution:
- Characterize the properties of a home-made Joule heating stage for microscopy
- Optimize heating/measurement protocols for repeatability and stability
- Perform temperature-dependent reference measurements on organic nanostructures
- Operate state-of-the-art equipment for spatially- and time-resolved spectroscopy

Contact us :
If you want to learn more and get to know us:

Prof. dr. Richard Hildner, Office: 5117.0011, Email: r.m.hildner rug.nl, Tel: +31 50 36 38149
Sebastian Stäter, Office: 5117.0006, Email: sebastian.staeter rug.nl, Tel: +31 50 36 32416
Ioannis Touloupas, Office 5117.0006, Email: i.touloupas rug.nl, Tel: +31 50 36 32416
Full text as PDF


Time-Resolved Emission Spectroscopy on Self-Assembled Nanostructures

Master / Bacholor research project (Spring 2020)

Our idea:
Self-assembly of organic molecules into supramolecular nanostructures often results in different species of aggregates with slightly different molecular arrangement. The photophysical properties of such species often differ in the spectral and the temporal domain. In this project, you will use an interferometer-based approach to discriminate between different species of aggregates, analyze their photophysical properties, and reveal details about intermolecular order.

Spectrol and temopral response of a nanostructure
Spectrol and temopral response of a nanostructure

Your contribution:
- Operate state-of-the-art equipment for spatially- and time-resolved spectroscopy
- Optimise a setup for fluorescence excitation spectroscopy and quantify its sensitivity
- Perform experiments on crystalline nanofibrillar structures
- Analyse spectroscopic data to correlate absorption and fluorescence excitation spectra

Contact us :
If you want to learn more and get to know us:

Prof. dr. Richard Hildner, Office: 5117.0011, Email: r.m.hildner rug.nl, Tel: +31 50 36 38149
Sebastian Stäter, Office: 5117.0006, Email: sebastian.staeter rug.nl, Tel: +31 50 36 32416
Ioannis Touloupas, Office 5117.0006, Email: i.touloupas rug.nl, Tel: +31 50 36 32416
Full text as PDF


Self-Assembly of Organic Nanofibers

Master / Bacholor research project (Spring 2020)

Our idea:
Organic self-assembled nanofibers enable long-range transport of excitation energy, and are building blocks for new nanophotonic devices. Nanofiber growth in solution depends on a variety of parameters, and good control over the growth process is crucial to tune the optical properties. In this project, you will investigate the influence of heating profiles and centrifugation on the yield of organic nanofibers. You will also employ a variety of microscopic and spectroscopic techniques.

Annealing of nanofibers
Annealing of nanofibers

Your contribution:
- Develop specific heating curves to optimize nanofiber growth in solution
- Employ centrifugation to improve nanofiber yield & quality
- Analyze nanofiber solutions with a variety of spectroscopic techniques
- Operate state-of-the-art equipment for spatially- and time-resolved spectroscopy

Contact us :
If you want to learn more and get to know us:

Prof. dr. Richard Hildner, Office: 5117.0011, Email: r.m.hildner rug.nl, Tel: +31 50 36 38149
Sebastian Stäter, Office: 5117.0006, Email: sebastian.staeter rug.nl, Tel: +31 50 36 32416
Ioannis Touloupas, Office 5117.0006, Email: i.touloupas rug.nl, Tel: +31 50 36 32416
Full text as PDF

Last modified:01 July 2020 2.30 p.m.