From 18th January to 07th May 2018 I had the opportunity to visit the National School of Higher Studies Unit Morelia, National Autonomous University of Mexico (ENES Morelia UNAM). There I workedwith Dr. Alejandra Castro-Carranza, Research Ambassador of the University of Bremen and guest inthe group “Science of Sustainable Materials” - ENES Morelia UNAM. Experiments were conducted on the polymer P3HT and hybrid P3HT:pesticide composites using glyphosate. This was done as a basiccharacterization to evaluate the potential of the polymer for sensing such a pesticide which has been found to be genotoxic in humans . Our experimental results are supported by modeling of the molecular properties of the pesticide and complemented by an optical analysis that has been performed in Bremen. Electrical characterization of P3HT and P3HT:glyphosate composites has been performed on Schottky diodes fabricated with indium-gallium eutectic in cooperation with Dr. Jairo C. Nolasco. Also, Raman spectroscopy and spectrophotometry were performed on these samples. Discussions of the results obtained in Bremen and Morelia with the group “Science in Sustainable Materials” at UNAM have been very fruitful. Furthermore, molecular simulations of glyphosate performed by Dr. Yesenia Arredondo and Dr. Claudia Briones-Jurado of this group provided additional input for the discussion of the material and its interaction with P3HT.
The experience I gained in electrical measurement techniques and modeling will surely be very helpful for future projects as for example my PhD project in Bremen.
I was also invited for a talk in the seminar “Broadening our International Perspective” at the Morelia Insitue of Technology. There I talked to undergraduate students about the research I performed in Morelia and my exchange to Mexico.
As the first student to be exchanged in a collaboration between ENES Morelia UNAM and the
University of Bremen, I, as well as the responsible persons of both institutions, hope that this research stay can be a starting point for a stronger collaboration of the two Universities, including an exchange of more students in the future.