During this symposium, a Young Speakers Contest (YSC) is organized, in collaboration with ASML. The YSC is a contest between 4 PhD candidates, where each of them presents their research project to the visitors. The goal of this contest is to inspire students and other visitors with the different kinds of research the physics department of the TU/e has to offer.
Optical spectroscopy is an important tool in industrial and agricultural applications and might pervade soon the consumers' market e.g. for food quality monitoring and mobile health care. Today, the challenge lies in scaling down the spectrometers to get portable and easy-to-use devices, and ultimately to reach dimensions compatible with the integration with smartphones. We are working on the development of a low-cost integrated spectrometer based on a multi-pixel detector array.
Problems regarding nanoparticles is becoming more important over the last few years. In the future, measurement techniques of nanoparticles will become essential. I am researching the interaction between nanoparticles and plasmas, considering the development of these techniques. These techniques will be used in the industry (semi-conductor pollution) as well as everyday life (particulates in the air).
On YouTube you can find many videos on how microwaving grapes makes plasma. Although the grape plasma looks really cool, the number of applications is quite limited. This changes when we scale down this experiment by a factor of roughly 100000. Instead of microwaves we use visible light and instead of grapes we use silver nanoparticles. The same physics can then be used to shape electromagnetic fields and provide ways to create nanolasers and explore light matter interactions.
Microwave Cavity Resonance Spectroscopy is a technique which relates the changes of characteristics of an electromagnetic standing wave to the properties of a plasma. In the past few years, the resolution of this technique has been enhanced, spatial solutions have been added and new plasmas have been used.