Doctorate for Fabian Scholten

September 06, 2021

Today, Fabian Scholten defended his doctoral thesis in an online disputation. He carried out research on the role of oxides and nanostructure of copper catalysts for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2). This is the third disputation in the Interface Science Department in 2021.

Fabian Scholten came to the Roldán group in 2016 for his master thesis when Beatriz RoIdán was a Professor of Physics at the Ruhr-University Bochum. During her transition to the Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) in Berlin in 2017 and the renovation of labs at the FHI, Fabian stayed first in Bochum for about one year and subsequently joined her in Berlin.

Fabian played a pivotal role in the installation of the Interface Science Department’s complex ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) systems after the move to Berlin. He adapted a commercially available quasi in situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) set-up, which interfaces an electrochemical cell with a UHV characterization system. He improved it, and trained a number of other PhD students and postdocs into their use. Thanks to this system the Roldán group was able to get previously unattainable insight into the chemical evolution of surfaces and nanoparticles during electrochemical processes without exposure to air, including changes in the oxidation state and surface segregation phenomena in multimetallic nanoparticle systems.

Fabian Scholten is a physicist with a very strong theoretical background, including in depth knowledge in the area of solid state physics. However, he was also able to expand his research horizons to the field of experimental physical chemistry to investigate chemical reactions at electrified liquid/solid interfaces. By now Fabian’ s work lead to 19 published papers in high impact peer-reviewed journals and two more submitted papers are currently under review.

Fabian’s examination committee was chaired by Prof. Dr. Heiko Krabbe; further members were Prof. Dr. Achim von Keudell, Prof. Dr. Ilya Eremin, and Prof. Dr. Ulrich Wiedner, all from the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy of Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB), as well as Fabian's PhD thesis supervisor Prof. Dr. Beatriz Roldán Cuenya from the Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) of the Max Planck Society. Both, his written dissertation and oral defense were rated Summa Cum Laude.

The ISC-FHI Department congratulates Fabian for his excellent accomplishments!

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