214th International Meeting of the Electrochemical Society (ECS) in Honolulu, 12-17 October 2008

First I would like to thank SCI, in particular the Messel Fund, for awarding me with a travel bursary to attend the 214th International Meeting of the Electrochemical Society (ECS) in Honolulu, 12-17 October 2008.

My abstract for this conference was accepted as an oral presentation and I was given the opportunity to present my results to other participants interested in porous semiconductors.

The talk formed part of the Symposium D6: Porous Semiconductors: A Symposium held in Memory of Vitaly Parhutik and Volker Lehmann, and the title of my presentation was: ‘Synthesis and catalytic activity of hybrid metal/silicon nanocomposites’. My talk, which was about 20 minutes in length, was received very well and I was asked several questions which led to some constructive discussions.

After the session I also had a very interesting meeting with Mr Ralf Wehrspohn (University of Halle) about my results and publishing plans. I was able to discuss my results with other participants and get some ideas for my PhD thesis as well.

The meeting proved an excellent occasion to learn about recent advances in porous semiconductors, especially as there were some very interesting sessions on nanotechnology, PEM fuel cells including catalyst sessions, bioelectroanalysis and many others. I learned new methodologies and techniques used in porous silicon etching and catalyst preparation and activation by attending two sessions within the porous semiconductor symposium and the PEM fuel cells session – Pt catalysts as well as a large poster session.

Being able to attend these sessions and give an oral presentation gave me an opportunity to compare and evaluate my work and results. By meeting and talking to a large number of researchers I was able to find out more about catalysis and research in porous silicon, and get advice on how I can improve and develop my work.

The trip was my first time in the USA, and it was wonderful to see the islands of Hawaii. I travelled around the beautiful island of Oahu and gained some insight into Polynesian culture and the life of real surfers.

I would like to thank my supervisor, Prof Dmitry Kovalev, for giving me the opportunity to attend this conference and thank again SCI and the Messel Fund for giving me this important financial support.

Sergej Polisski
University of Bath

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