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Solid state chemistry – mesostructured materials: Juniorprofessor Dr. Mirijam Zobel

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Nanoinnovation Award for Sabrina Thomä

Bavarian-wide award for MSc thesis

On July 19, the Nano Innovation Award 2019 was presented at the Center for NanoScience (CeNS) of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich, honoring one Master and one PhD thesis for their application-oriented research in the field of nanosciences.

In the category Master thesis, Sabrina Thomä was awarded the prize, which is worth €3,000 plus an invitation to present an invited talk at the annual CeNS workshop in Venice. The price is awarded annually by a jury of experts from science and business, and the prize money is donated by CeNS spin-offs attocube systems, ibidi, Nanion Technologies and NanoTemper Technologies.

The focus of nanosciences is still on fundamental research. But in many areas, nanoscientific research has been transferred to technical applications - with great economic potential. The Nano Innovation Award focuses specifically on innovative work by junior researchers with promising application potential in technology or medicine.

Sabrina Thomäs' Master thesis - A better understanding of nanoparticles’ interactions

Nanoparticles finely distributed in solution are nowadays widely applied in industrial applications, e.g., as catalysts, as UV-filter in cosmetic products, in sunscreen, or as drug vehicles in biomedical applications. Since experimental access has been very difficult, only little is known so far about the properties and the structure of the interface between nanoparticles and surrounding water molecules. In her Master’s thesis, Sabrina Thomä from the University of Bayreuth succeeded in investigating the arrangement of water molecules in the vicinity of iron oxide nanoparticles with high-energy X-rays. For this work, she was awarded the Nano Innovation Award. “I was surprised about the detailed insight into the hydration shells and that the water structure around 7 nm colloidal particles does not differ significantly from the structure at bulk surfaces“, says Sabrina Thomä, who is currently a PhD student in Chemistry in the group of Mirijam Zobel at the University of Bayreuth. 

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