X. Li MSc (Xinyue)
Promovendus - Spectroscopy of Solids and Interfaces
My PhD project focuses on thermosalient organic crystals that can repeatedly change shape very strongly when heated up. Such flexible crystals can be used as molecular motors, pumps or switches. However, there are several questions remaining unknown: how does such transition happen? How fast can the molecules re-arrange themselves without that the crystal breaks? How can we control this thermosalient behaviour?
My goal is to answer these questions using an ultrafast pump-probe technique that uses femtosecond laser pulses to trigger the phase transition and then probes the change in the crystal with a second pulse. In this way we can make a stroboscopic movie of what is happening on the molecular scale in real time.