PHD- student wins Australian posterprize – University of Copenhagen

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03 September 2010

PHD- student wins Australian posterprize

By Jes Andersen

The prize for best poster at this years "Conference on Reactive Intermediate and unusual molecules" on Heron Island, Australia, went to Danish PhD-student Mie Højer Vilhelmsen, who investigates molecular electronics supervised by Mogens Brøndsted at the Department of Chemistry in Copenhagen.

Mie Højer Vilhelmsen i færd med at formidle ved arrangementet

Good research presented well

The poster presented by Vilhelmsen describes the research she is planning for her PhD. It won the prize, not just because the project as such is interesting, but also because the poster describes the project well, and because Vilhemsen presented her poster with exemplary clarity.

New insights into old reaction

During her project, Vilhemsen plans to investigate the mechanisms of the Glaser-Hay coupling (The coupling of two terminal triple bonds).
This reaction has been well known since 1869 and today it is one of the cornerstones in the synthesis of molecular electronics. But never the less it is still poorly understood, says Vilhelmsen.

"You pour your compounds together. And sometimes you get the product out. Other times it just doesn't work at all", explains the PhD-student.

Real life measurements

Mie plans to measure the reaction using NMR-measurements and light in both in the ultraviolet and the visible range. But unlike previous investigations, she plans to study the reaction as it is actually performed in the lab. Not one optimized for the purposes of measurements. This is a course of action that M.Sc. Vilhelmsen has high hopes for.

"I hope to discover the limits of the reaction. To find the consequences of the individual molecules we expose the reaction to and to determine what will make it stop working", explains Mie Højer Vilhelmsen.

Money, publications and honour

The prize consisted of 200 Australian dollars, a one year subscription to the Australian Journal of Chemistry and the honour of it. And for Vilhelmsen this last is far from the least.

"This is a wonderful recognition from the hundred of scientists at the conference. And I'm particularly proud because these are people whose articles I've read, and who are big names within their particular fields", tells a visibly happy PhD-student.

Mie expects to conclude her PhD in may 2011

See Vilhemsens poster here