Humboldt Fellow new addition to Aziz team

Dr. Tristan Petit joins the Aziz-Team. Foto: T.Petit

Dr. Tristan Petit joins the Aziz-Team. Foto: T.Petit

Simulated view of a nanodiamond.

Simulated view of a nanodiamond. © T. Petit

Starting June 1st, Dr. Tristan Petit will be joining Prof. Dr. Emad Flear Aziz’ team for a two-year postdoc. His Humboldt Foundation Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers gave Petit the option to choose his German scientific host. Ultimately, he decided on the Joint Ultrafast Dynamics Lab in Solutions and at Interfaces (JULiq) that was set up by Aziz. Says Petit: “I really wanted to be on Aziz’ team as they have a lot of collective expertise with spectroscopy in water.”

26-year-old Tristan Petit earned his Ph.D. degree at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, France, back in March of this year. His doctoral work at the Diamond Sensors Laboratory (CEA), Gif-sur-Yvette, focused on nanodiamond surface modifications to evaluate their biomedical potential. Nanodiamonds could make good “drug cabs” as they have low toxicity and their surfaces can be easily functionalized for the transport of other molecules.

Although to date, the interactions between water molecules and nanoparticles remain unclear. Petit has made it his mission to get to the bottom of these interactions: He is planning on using soft X-ray spectroscopy to study water-based dispersions of nanodiamonds “in situ” on a microjet. This may provide important clues about how these special nanoparticles behave under physiological conditions, in other words, in the body. “Thanks to the unique Lixedrom experimental setup, we’re able to conduct experiments that can’t be done anywhere else really. Ultimately, that was a strong motivating factor for me to come to Berlin,” admits Petit.