For two years, PhD student Neslihan Aslan has been researching in the field of hydrogen storage at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ) in Garching. “We are examining possibilities to store hydrogen inside solids, like for example in metal and complex hydrides, in order to save energy, space and costs”, the scientist explains her work. This is because hydrogen has to be cooled in an energy-intensive manner to store it in liquid form. Gaseous storage, in turn, requires large storage volumes.
For her research Neslihan Aslan therefore carries out spectroscopic measurements on the TOFTOF instrument. She investigates the molecular movements of inorganic amides and boron hydrides, since these substances contain a high mass fraction of hydrogen. The measurements will provide more precise information on hydrogen release and absorption in solids.
Support for students and PhD candidates of Turkish origin
In the summer of 2019, the young scientist became aware of the Fuat Sezgin Excellence Award Program announced by the Presidency for Turks Abroad (YTB). The prize commemorates the historian and Islamic scholar Prof. Dr. Fuat Sezgin, who died in June 2018. After Turkey proclaimed the year 2019 as the “Prof. Dr. Fuat Sezgin Year”, the funding applies to bachelor's or master's students and PhD candidates of Turkish origin who are studying and researching outside Turkey and are performing very well. “At first I was sceptical whether I would be eligible for funding at all”, Neslihan Aslan who studied in Regensburg and in Lille in France, tells. Although the chemist has Turkish roots, she was born in Germany and has the German citizenship.
Neslihan Aslan receives Fuat Sezgin Award
Nevertheless, the scientist has applied “at good luck”, as she says. The invitation to an interview in Munich was then a pleasant surprise. Representatives of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism travelled to the event, which took place in summer 2019.
In January 2020 Neslihan Aslan finally was able to celebrate the award – until now without an official award ceremony due to the corona pandemic. The Fuat Sezgin Excellence Award Program is endowed with a financial support of 3000 € for PhD candidates. For Neslihan Asland the use of the prize money became clear very soon: the scientist donated one part to Aktion Deutschland Hilft, while the other part went on a long-awaited trip to the USA together with her siblings.