Dr. Mihai E. Vaida
University of California, Berkeley
Department of Chemistry
My life as a scientist began in the research group of Professor Ludger Wöste at Free University of Berlin, where I completed my master thesis. The fascinating experiments on mass selected free metals clusters that I performed in Wöste’s lab challenge me to study clusters and molecules adsorbed on solid surfaces. Therefore, as a graduate student in the research group of Professor Thorsten M. Bernhardt at Ulm University I developed a new experimental technique to directly monitor ultrafast photoinduced surface chemical reactions. Currently I am an associate research specialist in the laboratory of Professor Stephen R. Leone, in the Department of Chemistry, at the University of California, Berkeley. Here I use femtosecond extreme ultraviolet laser pulses to investigate ultrafast photoinduced processes of charge migration and localization at the surface of photocatalytic and photovoltaic materials.
Besides ultrafast spectroscopy, Professor Wöste also introduced me in the captivating world of chemistry. He taught me how to mix short-chain, soluble carbohydrates with organic compounds congaing hydroxyl functional groups bound to saturated carbon atoms under precise temperature conditions to produced valuable new substances such as “Feuerzangenbowle”. There are many pleasant memories that tie me to Prof. Wöste and his lab.