Fellows

The activities planned within the SPARTE project require the recruitment of excellent young researchers among the different involved groups.
Meet them below:

Sharvanee Mauree - CEA - Sensors and Electronic Architectures Laboratory (LCAE)

SM After her A-levels in Mauritius, Sharvanee Mauree pursued a bachelor’s degree in Inorganic and Materials Chemistry and Physics at the University College London (UCL) . She then continued with an Erasmus Mundus Masters in Material Science Exploring Large-Scale Facilities (MaMaSELF) at the Université de Rennes 1 (France), the Università degli Studi di Torino (Italy) and the Université de Montpellier (France).  She joined the Commissariat à l’énergie atomiques et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) of Saclay, France since November 2020 to embark on her PhD.

Role in the SPARTE project:

Her PhD at the Laboratoire Capteurs et Architectures Electroniques (LCAE), funded by SPARTE, is axed on the use of Metal Organic Framework (MOF) single crystal for the capture and detection by scintillation of radioactive gases.  It consists firstly of the successful synthesis of millimetric single crystals of a variety of MOFs and characterisation by photoluminescence and radioluminescence.  Promising MOFs are then used in a unique gas bench at the Laboratoire National Henri Becquerel (LNHB) for the detection and capture of Radon, Krypton and Tritium gases. 

Charl X. Bezuidenhout - UNIMIB - Department of Material Sciences

Bezuidenhout Charl X. Bezuidenhout completed his MSc in chemistry, Cum Laude, in 2011 at the university of Stellenbosch, South Africa, supervision of Professors Len J. Barbour and Catharine Esterhuysen. In the Barbour lab he completed his PhD studying the host-guest chemistry of selected copper-based Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), both theoretically and experimentally. He was appointed as a Post-Doc in the Materials Science Department at the University of Milano-Bicocca with Prof. Angiolina Comotti researching the dynamics and sorption behaviours of porous systems, including MOFs.

Role in the SPARTE project:

His activities under the SPARTE project comprised the structural resolution of properly designed MOFs by the construction and computation of crystal structure models. Structural models are refined by Rietveld method and computationally validated using plane-wave DFT methods. These MOF structural models are then used to study the MOF scintillating properties and to simulate the positions and interactions of guests, such as Nitrogen, Carbon dioxide, Xe, etc., entering the pores.

Dr. Jacopo Perego – UNIMIB - Department of Material Sciences

JP Dr. Jacopo Perego received his undergraduate (2013, cum laude) and graduate degree (2016, cum laude) in Materials Science at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy. He joined the Ph.D. program in Materials Science and Nanotechnology under the supervision of Prof. Comotti, working on the synthesis and characterization of advanced microporous solids as Porous Organic Frameworks (POFs) and Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs). During this period, he spent 6 months as visiting student at Bernal Institute (Limerick, Ireland) under the supervision of Prof. Zaworotko and got his Ph.D. title in February 2020 (cum laude). He is currently a post-doc researcher at University of Milano-Bicocca.

Role in the SPARTE project:

His contribution to the project is the design, synthesis and physical characterization of highly luminescent high-Z MOFs and nanocomposites for detection of ionizing radiations. He develops custom synthesis of highly luminescent organic chromophores with fast emission properties. These molecules are framed in the porous structure of MOFs using heavy atoms to develop nanocrystalline MOFs with tailored crystal structure and controlled particle size distributions. Then, nanocrystalline MOFs are included in continuous matrixes to obtain self-standing porous monoliths for photonics and scintillating applications.

Raphaël Marie-Luce - UCBL - Chemistry laboratory

RML Raphaël Marie-Luce learnt the very basics of Physics and Chemistry in a Classe Préparatoire aux Grandes Ecoles and pursued by getting both a Bachelor degree and an engineering diploma in Chemical Engineering at ENSIACET (Toulouse, France). Attracted by the thought-provoking and challenging issues underlined by the SPARTE project, he joined the Chemistry Laboratory of ENS de Lyon.

Role in the SPARTE project:

Raphael's thesis work, carried out at the chemistry laboratory of the ENS de Lyon, will be centered around the development of aerogels based on scintillating materials. First, he will synthesize YAG nanoparticles doped with cerium. For this, a solvothermal synthesis method has been developed. It allows the preparation on the one hand of very small nanoparticles and on the other hand of extremely concentrated colloidal solutions. The latter are the starting point for the preparation of particulate gels which after supercritical drying will give extremely porous scintillating aerogels. Secondly, Raphaël will be busy preparing other scintillating systems using the same approach as for the YAG. He will also be in charge of the preparation of aerogels from the precursors of scintillating materials synthesized by Václav Čuba's team at the Czech Technical University in Prague. Finally, he will study the aerogels prepared with Christophe Dujardin's team at ILM and Benoit Sabot's team at CEA.

Matteo Orfano – UNIMIB - Department of Material Sciences

MO Matteo Orfano received his BSc (2017) and his MSc degree (2020) in Materials Science at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy. He spent 6 months as a research fellow in the group of prof. Angelo Monguzzi, then he joined the Ph.D. program in Materials Science and Nanotechnology. His work is focused on the study of photoluminescence and radioluminescence properties of hybrid plastic scintillators for fast timing application. He investigated the sensitization of scintillation of fast emitting organic dyes sensitized by gold-based superstructures. Now he is currently working on the study of photophysical and scintillation properties of Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) nanocrystals and composites.

Role in the SPARTE project:

In the frame of the SPARTE project, its main role is focused on the study of highly luminescent high-Z MOFs and nanocomposites for detection of ionizing radiations by means of steady state and time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy. To develop the porous scintillating devices required for gas detection, the nanocrystals are included in a polymeric matrix to obtain self-standing porous materials. Therefore, he is also investigating new potential optically active matrixes to further enhances the scintillation yield of the composite systems.

Matěj Grapa – CTU – Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering (FNSPE) - Department of Nuclear Chemistry (DNC)

MG Matěj Grapa completed his MSc in chemistry in 2020 at the Czech Technical University, and he continues as PhD student in the Radiation chemistry research team at DNC, led by professor Viliam Múčka. He focuses on the synthesis of scintillating nanopowders and is currently working on preparing metal-semiconductor nanostructures with exciton-plasmon interaction.

Role in the SPARTE project:

As a part of the team at Czech Technical University in Prague, he is responsible for the synthesis of gel-like precursors of scintillating materials. His main goal is altering and upscaling the process of ZnO:Ga preparation as it is perspective material because of its extremely short luminescence decay time. Nanostructures based on ZnO:Ga are at the center of Matej’s research for now and the overlap allows him to simultaneously contribute to SPARTE and get important data for his thesis.

Adéla Suchá - CTU – Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering - Department of Nuclear Chemistry

AS Adéla Suchá received her BSc (2018) and her MSc degree (2021) in Nuclear Chemistry at the Czech technical university in Prague at Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering. Now, she continues at Ph.D. program with the same speciality. Her work is focused on the synthesis and characterization of inorganic nanoparticles scintillators and thin films.

Role in the SPARTE project:

Her work in the SPARTE project includes the preparation of nanoparticles with using non-ionizing radiation. The main focus of her work is to measure the photoluminescence and radioluminescence properties of prepared materials.

Dr. Francesca Cova - UNIMIB - Department of Material Sciences

FC Dr. Francesca Cova received her undergraduate (2014) and graduate degree (2016, cum laude) in Physics at the University of Milano – Bicocca, Milan, Italy. She completed her PhD in Materials Science and Nanotechnology under the supervision of Prof. Anna Vedda, working on the characterization of scintillating materials, especially in the form of optical fibers for medical dosimetry and high-energy physics applications. During her PhD she spent several and frequent research periods abroad in the framework of European and international projects aimed at the development of research and infrastructures. She got her PhD title in February 2020 and currently she is a post-doc researcher at the University of Milano – Bicocca.

Role in the SPARTE project:

In the framework of the SPARTE project, her work focuses on the characterization of the scintillation properties of high-Z MOFs and nanocomposites for the detection of ionizing radiation, by means of X-ray excited luminescence and thermally stimulated luminescence.

Dr. Lenka Prouzová Procházková - CTU - Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering - Department of Nuclear Chemistry

LP Dr. Lenka Prouzová Procházková received her Bc (2011) and MSc (2013) degree in Applied Nuclear Chemistry at the Czech Technical University, Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering. In the Radiation chemistry research team, she completed also her Ph.D. program in Nuclear Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Vaclav Cuba (2018). She defended her dissertation on the topic Nanocomposite scintillators based on zinc oxide with band gap modulation. Actually, she has been working as Assistant professor at the Department of Nuclear Chemistry, and as postdoctoral researcher at the Czech Academy of Science, Dpt. of Optical materials (research team of Prof. Martin Nikl).

Role in the SPARTE project:

Her activities for the project encompass synthesis and characterization of nanocrystalline precursors for scintillators, namely ZnO:Ga and YAG:Ce synthesized via photo-induced precipitation. She has been engaged in long-term research, design and development of ZnO:Ga-based nanocomposite scintillators  with extremely short PL and RL decays. Her responsibility includes characterization of products by XRD, XRF and thermoanalysis, and RL and PL characterization of luminescence materials.

Dr. Emanuele Vignola - NanoActive Films

EV R2 C2 After his discussion of a thesis in philosophy of science at the University of Naples (Italy), Emanuele Vignola turned his interests to science for real, earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in chemistry at the University of Salerno (Italy), both summa cum laude. He, then, moved to the École Normale Supérièure de Lyon (France) and got a Ph.D. in chemistry. After a brief but valuable experience at University College London (United Kingdom) as theoretical physicist, he spent one year working as analytical chemist at Biosearch s.r.l. (Italy) and six months as quality-control laboratory manager at Levantoil s.r.l. (Italy). Before joining NanoActive Films s.r.l., he specialised his expertise on polymeric materials for industrial applications as post-doctoral research associate at the University of Salerno.

Role in the SPARTE project:

Emanuele’s main role in the SPARTE project involves research, preparation, characterisation, and development of highly-porous polymeric manufacts to support Metallic-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) for the capture and detection of scintillating radioactive gases.

Pavlo Mai - UCBL - Institute of Light and Matter

 PM Pavlo Mai received his MSc (2021) degree in Nanoscale Engineering at Ecole Centrale de Lyon and at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv as a part of a double diploma program. Now, he is conducting his doctoral research at a joint CNRS - Universite Lyon 1 research unit ILM, focusing on photoluminescent characterization of porous scintillators.

Role in the SPARTE project:

The main role of Pavlo consists in investigating photoluminescent and radioluminescent properties of porous scintillators within the project.

Dr. Xenie Popovič - CTU - Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering - Department of Nuclear Chemistry

 XP Dr. Xenie Popovič obtained her BSc. (2014) and MSc. (2016) degrees in Nuclear Chemistry at the Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering. In 2020 she completed the PhD program at the FNSPE. Her current research interests center around the synthesis, surface modification and biofunctionalization of luminescent nanomaterials for wide variety of application fields.

Role in the SPARTE project:

Her activities in SPARTE project include photo-induced synthesis of scintillating nanoparticles based on synthetic garnets with subsequent evaluation of physico-chemical properties of the prepared materials using X-ray diffraction (XRD), TG/DTA analysis and photoluminescence and radioluminescence measurements.

Dr. Sabrina Nicoleti Carvalho dos Santos - UCBL - Institute of Light and Matter

 SD Dr. Sabrina N. C. dos Santos received her Bsc (2012) in Physics from São Paulo State University (UNESP - Brazil) and Msc (2015) degree in Materials Science and Engineering from University of São Paulo (USP - Brazil) in 2015. In the Photonics Group at USP in Brazil, she completed her PhD (2019) studying laser materials processing, emphasizing femtosecond laser micromachining of glasses for waveguides. Nonlinear optical spectroscopies on glasses were also the object of research. She is currently a post-doc researcher at the University of Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (UCBL).

Role in the SPARTE project:

Her scintillation research in the SPARTE project consists of investigating the spectroscopic properties of porous scintillators and nanostructure.

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