December 8, 2021

Deema Balalta – ESR 10

Deema BALALTA was born in Nablus (Palestine) in 1994. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Energy Engineering and Environment at An-Najah National University (2012-2017). During her studies, she learned about renewable energies, energy management, CO2 sequestration techniques, and sustainability. In 2018, she joined the international program Erasmus Mundus Master in Membrane Engineering for Sustainable World (EM3E-4SW). She studied material science and membrane characterization techniques at the University of Montpellier (UM), chemical engineering and modelling at the University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague (VŠCHT), and specialized in Nanotechnology at the University of Zaragoza (UniZar).Her Master’s thesis was at the Institute of Nanoscience of Aragon (INA) (2020) on studying modified PVDF membranes with Copper Sulphide nanoparticles for Vacuum membrane distillation system.
Research Project
Structure, dynamics and function of nanoparticles for methanol synthesis studied by electron microscopy

My research project focuses on the advanced in-situ (S)TEM characterization of atomic clusters, used in (electro)catalysis. The research will be conducted at the University of Antwerp under the supervision of Prof. Sara Bals and Prof. Thomas Altantzis. For clusters of different size, structure and chemical composition, I will be investigating their dynamic response in gas and liquid environments, combined also with biasing and/or heating. In addition, three secondments at the facilities of different partners of the project are planned, where I aim to investigate and characterize the clusters by complementary state-of-the-art techniques such as in-situ XAFS, and also computational modelling. The results of my research will be of great importance to the project, since they will allow us to obtain a better understanding of the way the (electro)catalysts work and evolve under realistic reaction conditions.