Tuesday 26 April Julianna Palotás succesfully defended her thesis that is devoted to the laboratory aspects of astrochemistry. She succeeded in recording the first laboratory infrared spectrum of protonated fullerenes C60H+ and C70H+.She also demonstrates that the infrared spectra of ionized fullerenes are significantly distinct from the fingerprints of (ionized) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Her research offers new insights in the composition of the interstellar medium and provides starting points for further research.
Monday 11 April, Sjors Bakels successfully defended his PhD thesis. Using the intense, tunable infrared laser light from HFML-FELIX, Bakels was able to take the understanding of the mechanism underlying peptide aggregation a step further.
Sander Lemmens successfully defended his thesis on 10 March. Lemmens focused on three questions: what is the organic inventory in the universe, how do molecules form in the interstellar medium, and how do they interact? With the FELIX infrared light he studied the properties of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that occur in interstellar space.
FELs OF EUROPE, the collaboration of free electron laser (FEL) facilities in Europe, published a new issue of their newsletter. It includes updates and research highlights from the 15 associated facilities, including HFML-FELIX.