PhD defense Ella Schoolaert

(30-03-2021) Title: 'Small Fibers, Big Warnings: Eco-Friendly Design of Colorimetric Nanofibrous Sensors', Public Defense on Tuesday April 6th 2021, 11h30 –13h30 (Online via Microsoft Teams)

You are cordially invited to the public defense of the PhD of Ella Schoolaert

'Small Fibers, Big Warnings: Eco-Friendly Design of Colorimetric Nanofibrous Sensors'

on Tuesday April 6th 2021, 11h30 –13h30

Online via Microsoft Teams: meeting link

We cannot imagine a world without sensors. Going from smoke detectors to alcohol tests, sensors are important to us as we trust them to inform us when something in our environment changes or to warn us whenever something is wrong. Today, we want sensors to be lighter and more flexible than ever. Additionally, they should be fast, reliable and easy to understand. To meet all of these requirements, color-changing nanofibrous sensors were investigated in this PhD. These type of sensors are based on materials that change color upon an external trigger, such as a change in acidity or the presence of a specific substance. Indeed, color changes are visual and easy to interpret, which makes them ideal for warning signals. The materials are designed by functionalizing polymers with stimuli-sensitive dyes, followed by eco-friendly processing into light, flexible and porous nanofiber membranes. The membranes consist of many small threads, invisible to the naked eye, which results in maximum contact with the surrounding environment, leading to ultrahigh sensitivity. By studying the interactions between polymers and dyes and by optimizing the process, these small fibers can lead to big warning signals that might be important for our health or safety.

Promotors:

Prof. Karen De Clerck – Ghent University
Prof. Richard Hoogenboom – Ghent University

Members of the examination board:

Prof. Filip De Turck (chairman) –Ghent University
Prof. Tim Dargaville – Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
Dr. Anne Hébraud – Université de Strasbourg (France)
Prof. Sandra Van Vlierberghe – Ghent University
Prof. Dagmar D’hooge – Ghent University