The PhD thesis was supervised by Agustín Mihi, NANOPTO group, at ICMAB-CSIC. The PhD Committee that evaluated the Thesis was formed by Jordi Martorell, ICFO (President), Gervasi Herranz, MULFOX group, ICMAB-CSIC (Secretary), and Esther Alarcón, AMOLF (Vocal).
Pau Molet's PhD thesis was part of the PhD Programme in Materials Science from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB).
Jordi Martorell, Esther Alarcón, Gervasi Herranz, Pau Molet, and Agustín Mihi.
Why did you choose the ICMAB for your PhD?
I was already inside the ICMAB doing my master Thesis and as the group and the work environment was close to ideal I decided to stay to make my PhD.
How would you explain your research to a non-scientific audience?
My research is focused on the design and fabrication of photonic structures at the nanoscale, hundreds of orders of magnitude below the thickness of a human hair, which enable a more efficient managing of light in optical devices, such as solar cells, photodetectors or LEDs.
What are the main applications of your research? Could you give us an example?
The main application is to develop more efficient optoelectronic devices. For instance, a solar panel with higher efficiencies or brighter LEDs for our smartphones.
From the lessons learnt here, which one do you value the most?
That science is a fight between the world and your motivation. As my director often said to me, the world conspires against you, and tries to make all experiments fail or be imperfect. Only with a strong will and hard work we can turn the tables and obtain exciting and new results. Nothing comes for granted.
What will you miss the most from ICMAB?
I’m staying one more year at ICMAB, so I don’t expect to miss anything haha. That’s not an easy question, and can only be answered with time. For sure, if life gets me to a northern country, I’ll miss being able to eat outdoors and have a siesta at the sunny terrace.
How do you think this experience will contribute to your training and to your future?
Doing a PhD gives you the confidence and experience to be able to resolve complex problems. To search for the root of the specific issue, analyze how to tackle it and develop a strategy to improve the results.
What are your plans once you finish your PhD?
First, a relaxing cup of holidays. After that, probably a Post-Doc internship in a competitive research group.
What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your PhD, that now you can recommend to the ones who are starting?
Don’t be afraid to ask whatever if you have doubts. You are here to learn and evolve.
Why did you become a scientist? Which have been your role models?
My mom is a mathematician and my dad is an engineer, so I guess I had an early interest to study and comprehend things.
Which is your favourite female scientist? And why?
Lynn Margulis. The origin of the eukaryotic cell always fascinated me, so random and yet so important.
Describe in 3 keywords…
- Your research: Nanophotonics, Nanoimprinting, optoelectronic devices
- Barcelona: Versatile, Complete, likeable
- Your experience at ICMAB: Cozy, Relaxed, Equilibrated
Any other comments you would like to say:
Beware world, another doctor is in town!