Being one of the two winners of this bursary was simply the most wonderful thing that happened to me at university, and I risk to say in life. It is due to the fact that there is no other way for me to have such an amazing opportunity like this one, which gives me the unique chance of working in a laboratory at a university in the UK, on an important and significant project like this and being supported by such an incredible professional as Dr. Timothy Easun.
This opportunity is so single because there is no exchange that gives this kind of experience, since it is neither an exchange just to study English at a Language School nor only to study Chemistry at a university, which is usually what happens on student exchanges. This bursary is different from the common bursaries offered by institutions so far, because it gives students not only the amazing experience of living in another country, learning their culture and language, but also the chance of absorb the knowledge from professors on our field, however with different points of view than those of our professors from home universities.
Besides taking all the knowledge that I can get about chemistry, I am very excited about visiting such a well-structured continent as Europe, with so polite people, to understand how it works to share a world with people used to live on advanced countries, also called First World Countries, because as I am Brazilian, inhabitant of a Third World Country, one of my biggest dreams is to live in some place where I can trust the Government and the society, where the corruption does not stand out over the good steps taken by politicians.
Even though I will not live in Wales for a long period, it means a lot to me to stay there for two months of my life, it will be a pride for me to have lived there for a few weeks and to have visited some wonderful places that Europe offers for its people.
Another thing that is making me very proud is the possibility that came up with this bursary to make the final project of my graduation about this Dr. Easun’s project. To be able to put his name as advisor on my conclusion work and have it done on a university abroad is so amazing and will add such an important value to my completion work that it is one of the reasons that makes me excited the most about going on this journey.
The proposed project focus on the area of generation of new light responsive materials. Dr Easun’s group is working on the creation and characterization of materials that once ready and released for use, will perform a wonderful function for all the chemistry world of helping to understand nanofluidic motion of molecules.
This can help the academic society to understand deeply some of the still unexplained mechanisms of chemical phenomena, including directly, for industry and for research interest, the absorption and separation of gases. This includes catalysis and medical research if the study is performed on relevant gases such as CO, a promising area both for now and for the future, and even offers new ideas about drug delivery and medicine storage.
The idea is based on making new materials by including photoactive substances on MOFs, that are metal-organic frameworks, or by creating framework linkers that are photoactive by themselves.
The creation work is really important and will be based on previous studies, with an important part of the project that is characterizing the new crystals created and understanding their response to light. I will synthesize both linkers and MOFs, which will be characterized by a range of analytical techniques, giving me important experience of a wide range of chemical laboratory methods.
At the end of the project we will have made a new photoresponsive MOF and will have studied the gas uptake of the material in both the light and the dark states.