Deepak Pradeep was born in Kottayam, a district of Kerala (India) in 1997. He received his master’s degree (Five year Integrated) in Photonics from the International School of Photonics at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (2015 – 2020). During his studies, he got an opportunity to work in an internship project on “Velocity Slice Imaging for Dissociative Electron Attachment to Oxygen molecules” at the Indian Institute of Science and Technology Kolkata (India). Through this project he was able to gain hands-on experience with time-of-flight based mass spectrometers, ultra-high vacuum systems and develop some practical knowledge in Experimental Molecular Physics. Also, he gained some experience with laser systems and characterization techniques by doing his master’s thesis at the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (India), and the project was to develop “Nd and Cr co-doped YVO4 laser crystal and investigation of its self Q-switching action”.
Understanding bifunctional reaction mechanisms in CO2 hydrogenation on free clusters
My research project is based on the production of bimetallic free clusters (CuZn/NiGa) from a target material in a large compositional range by using a laser ablation source and get adsorbed with CO2, CO and H2 to characterize the structure of the clusters, cluster-molecule complexes and intermediate products in the CO2 hydrogenation using IR photofragmentation spectroscopy employing the IR free-electron laser. The research will be conducted at the FELIX Laboratory, Radboud University under the supervision of Dr. Joost Bakker and Prof. Andrei Kirilyuk. In addition, some secondments are planned at the facilities of the Catchy project partners, where I will carry out ion trap experiments to study cluster reactivity and DFT calculations to observe IR spectra and kinetics. My results are important to this project as it helps in finding the variation of reactive and catalytic properties of these clusters in CO2 hydrogenation, so that, novel high-performance cluster- based catalysts can be developed for the conversion of atmospheric CO2 into added value synthetic materials.