ELS Cluster congratulates PhD Kristianne Tempelman


The ELS cluster proudly congratulates Kristianne Tempelman on receiving her PhD with a dissertation on the Swelling of Thin Polymer Films. The project was a joint NWO/ISPT project and it contributed to the understanding of the swelling dynamics of thin polymer films that are exposed to an organic solvent.

ELS Cluster - Notebook with glasses

About me

My name is Kristianne Tempelman, I’m 27 years old and originally I am from Apeldoorn. I received both my bachelor and master degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Twente. During my master’s program I followed the specialization track called “Molecules and Materials Engineering”. I then went on to get my PhD with prof. dr. ir. Nieck E. Benes. The project was a joint NWO/ISPT project, and together with my old colleague, Evelien Maaskant, we joined the ISPT’s ELS cluster. Both our projects revolved around solvent resistant nanofiltration membranes. Evelien aimed to develop/study new high performance membrane materials, while my goal was to obtain a better understanding of the interaction between the penetrant and membrane materials, which often results in swelling.

My research

My thesis contributes to the understanding of the swelling dynamics of thin polymer films that are exposed to an organic solvent. I discuss fundamental aspects, such as the accuracy of spectroscopic ellipsometry with respect to in situ thin polymer film swelling. Also, the swelling mechanisms and dynamics in glassy polymers using spectroscopic ellipsometry are discussed. Finally I looked at broadband dielectric spectroscopy as measurement tools. My thesis describes the swelling of a new potential barrier material, poly (PDMS-POSSimde) and it reveals an underlying cause of membrane failure of polysulfone based desalination membranes in water-toluene mixtures.

The results

The main findings of this work show that by linking the swelling behaviour of the thin polymer film to the molecular structure and thermodynamic state, predictions on the performance of the thin film polymer in a non-aqueous environment can be improved. As a result, although the work performed in my Ph.D. is quite fundamental, it has provided the community with new research directions that will bring us closer to comprehending and eventually predicting the performance of thin film polymers in non-aqueous environments.

The ELS Cluster

During the 4 years of my PhD we had yearly meetings with all members of the ELS cluster. This gave me the opportunity to present and discuss the findings of my work to the industrial partners. The industrial perspective allowed me to gain insights on the relevance of my work outside of the academic world. This created new and refreshing ideas to pursue in my research and thesis.