【Postdoc Interview】Vazquez Besteiro lucas
Vazquez Besteiro Lucas，postdoctor of Professor Zhiming Wang’s and Professor Alexander Govorov’s Group, joined IFFS in August 2017. Published 3 academic papers in Nano Letters（IF=13.966）、Nano Today（（IF=17.689）and ACS Photonics（IF=7.547）as the first author from 2017 to 2019. He was honored the outstanding postdoctor at UESTC in 2018. Here is the interview with Lucas about his researching life at IFFS, UESTC.
Interviewer: Why did you choose to be a post doctor in Prof. Wang Zhiming’s team at IFFS?
Lucas: I was attracted by the breadth of research initiatives tackled by Prof. Wang’s group, both internally and also in collaborations around the globe. Particularly, I saw it as a great opportunity to connect my experience in theoretical nanophotonics with experimental and practical research in nanotechnology for applications relevant to our life, perhaps most importantly in the advancement of sustainable technologies to harvest solar energy.
Interviewer: Would you please introduce your research field and their applications in our daily life?
Lucas: I study the behavior of matter when we use it to create structures in the nanometer scale, particularly relating to how that changes its interaction with light. In the last years I have been focusing on the field of plasmonics, which deals with materials, typically metals, that interact very strongly with visible and infrared light in a manner that we can control through shaping their geometry. One reason why they are interesting in terms of technological application is that they can sensitize other materials and devices, increasing their efficiency in extracting energy from light for purposes such as solar energy conversion (generating electricity or synthesizing fuels, for instance), improving the sensitivity of techniques for molecular detection, or allowing targeted photothermal treatments for medical purposes. There are other families of applications for plasmonic systems, like creating ultrathin devices with exotic optical effects, but all these have in common that plasmonic structures give us the capability to interact with and manipulate light in the nanoscale.
Interviewer : Have you encountered any problems in your research and how did you go through the tough time?
Lucas：Well, research is certainly a challenging occupation which requires a great deal of dedication and the willingness to invest time in solving technical and scientific problems. Perhaps specially at the beginning, when one transitions from structured studies within a degree into taking one’s first steps in participating in the current start of the art in a given field. But this stage can be overcome if one has passion, perseverance and, importantly, good mentors.
But besides these intrinsic difficulties, I personally have not had any major external obstacles impeding my career. I count myself lucky of not only being able to invest my time in an occupation that I find fulfilling, but also to do so alongside many intelligent and hardworking scientist across the globe.
Interviewer: What’s your feeling about the team when you share ideas with them ? Can you give an example which impresses you most?
Lucas: I really like the team spirit that I see in the research efforts at IFFS. I have met very motivated, result-oriented researchers, that not only enjoy discussing and learning from their colleagues, but are also open to share their expertise and collaborate widely. I feel that learning is very important for everyone that I have met at IFFS, and I think that the Institute has been supportive of our efforts and our professional growth as scientists. In my particular experience, this has been exemplified by the wealth of opportunities provided by Prof. Wang and Prof. Govorov, my supervisors at IFFS.
Interviewer: Now that you’ve completed your last stage of postdoc research and achieved excellent results. Why do you still choose to continue your work in IFFS and prolong your research term?
Lucas: Thank you, you are very kind. After two years of work with IFFS we had indeed produced some interesting results, but we also have accumulated momentum in our research and we have a number of ongoing projects that I would like to finish, particularly around plasmon-enhanced photocatalysis. My goal was to use this extension to bring these to fruition before moving on towards other projects elsewhere.
Interviewer: What’s your plan for your future after finishing your research work at IFFS ?
Lucas: I would like to continue my involvement with the natural sciences, both by maintaining and active research activity and by engaging in teaching younger minds who are engaged in or considering to pursue a scientific career. Therefore, I am currently exploring the possibility of establishing my own research group as a university professor. However, be it in that capacity or with some other duties, I will continue looking for answers in the natural sciences to tackle challenges of importance for our society.
Interviewer: Would you please describe your experience of working in UESTC?
Lucas: I am very happy of having had the opportunity of being a postdoctoral researcher at UESTC. This position has greatly extended my research experience and helped me advance my research career, but I also want to emphasize that it has given me many great experiences with people in and around UESTC, from whom I can now count new colleagues and friends!