I started my Ph.D. in April 2022 at DTU Physics in the section of Neutrons and X-rays for Material Physics (NEXMAP) in the group of Kristoffer Haldrup. My Ph.D. project is about ultrafast solvation dynamics of aqueous solutions. Water is the most vital solvent on earth. It is a governing factor for life and a crucial component in many chemical reactions. In my work, I try to get a deeper, fundamental understanding of how solvent molecules are not only spectators but direct participants in chemical reactions. This is addressed by investigating intramolecular charge transfer and ultrafast solvation dynamics of photo-active organic and inorganic complexes at a time scale of femto- to picoseconds.
We need high-intensity, coherent X-ray pulses to probe molecular structural changes on ultrafast time scales, which is only available at international large-scale facilities such as synchrotrons and X-ray Free Electron Lasers (XFELs). In my Ph.D., I have had the opportunity to travel quite a lot to perform experiments at different large-scale facilities around the world. I find it really exciting to experience the different facilities. When I am not doing experiments, I am analysing the collected data, which is assisted by theoretical methods using Quantum Mechanical simulations.