Nanoscale Infrared Near-Field Spectroscopy, PHD thesis by Florian Huth
Florian Huth, Pre-doctoral Researcher at the Nanooptics Group at nanoGUNE, receives his PhD at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) after the defense of his thesis project on Monday 25 May 2015. Hir research work, entitled Nanoscale Infrared Near-Field Spectroscopy", has been developed under the supervision of the Nanooptics Group Leader and Ikerbasque Research Professor Dr. Rainer Hillenbrand.
An international committee including leading researchers in the field was selected to assess the research project:
- Dr. Thomas Taubner (Institute of Organic Chemistry RWTH)
- Dr. Alexander Bittner (CIC nanoGUNE)
- Dr. P. Scott Carney (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
- Dr. Andres Arnau Pino (UPV/EHU)
- Dr. F. Javier Aizpurua Iriazabal (UPV/EHU)
The defense consisted of a presentation by the candidate of the main aspects of the research project followed by a long discussion about the questions that each one of the members of the committee raised around the research works that have been carried out during the whole PhD period. After its final deliberation, the committee decided to award the candidate the Doctor Degree with the highest mention existing at the Spanish University (cum laude).
After the defense, we had a little interview with Dr. Huth and we asked him to explain us a bit more about his project:
Which was the subject of your thesis?
My thesis is focused on Nano-FTIR, an innovating technology to increasing the spatial resolution of infrared spectroscopy to enable spectroscopic analysis of nanoscale objects.
Why did you choose this subject?
Because nanotechnology experiences a huge interest in the recent years, creating a demand for novel ultrahigh-resolution techniques such as nano-FTIR.
Which metodology or techniques did you use?
We improved existing technologies such as IR-spectroscopy and Near-field spectroscopy to develop the nano-FTIR system.
Which have been the main conclusions?
The developed Nano-FTIR system achieves >100 times better spatial resolution compared to standard IR-spectroscopy and could be proven to work with a large variety of materials including semiconductors, polymers and organic samples.
What could be the contribution of your research for present or future nanotechnologies?
The new high-resolution analytical capabilities of Nano-FTIR could help understanding and improving a manifold of different material-systems, from nanoscale electronics to molecular biology, or even the nanostructure of stardust.
How do you feel now that you have finished the thesis? Which are your plans for the future?
It has been a great experience and honor to work here in this amazing scientific environment. In the future I will continue to work for Neaspec GmbH, a company that was co-founded by Rainer Hillenbrand, my thesis supervisor. My duties there will be mostly related to the development and improvement of the nano-FTIR system, which is already commercially available since very recently.