Roosa wins best poster prize!

Roosa Vastamäki with her poster.

The Chemist Club of Turku awards annually the prize for the best poster in connection with the Kemian kevät (Spring of chemistry) event of the Department of Chemistry of the University of Turku. The categories of this Antti Vesala prize are

  1. The board of the Chemist Club’s selection for the winner.
  2. The public vote, which is open to all members of the Chemist Club of Turku and the students and staff of the Department of Chemistry.

This year, Roosa Vastamäki, our group’s MSc student with a poster titled “A zeolite-free microwave synthesis of hackmanites“, was chosen as the winner of the first category. Congratulations, Roosa, well done!

Mika selected as Adjunct Professor of the Year 2021!

The joint Academic Day of the staff of the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University was celebrated on March 25, 2021. The Academic Day is held annually at the end of March in honor of the Royal Academy of Turku, founded in 1640. The recipient of the Vuoden dosentti (Adjunct Professor of the year) diploma is also announced on that day.

This year, Turun Yliopistojen Dosenttiyhdistys ry (The Adjunct Professors’ Society of the Universities of Turku) society selected Mika Lastusaari, the leader of our research group’s photonic materials team, as the Adjunct Professor of the year. Brilliant work and congratulations, Mika!

Mika at an NBC symposium giving a presentation. Credits Marko Junttila.

Tiina Mahlamäki, President of the Turun Yliopistojen Dosenttiyhdistys ry (The Adjunct Professors’ Society of the Universities of Turku) society, said in her introduction that the selection criteria have emphasized not only the Adjunct Professor’s academic merits but also social impact and interaction.

Ari Lehtonen from the society continued with detailed description about Mika’s achievements: “Mika is an active researcher and has published almost 200 articles on inorganic materials chemistry, most of all photonic materials and light-emitting materials. He has produced a large number of new luminescent materials with many practical applications and has also filed many patents on these materials. In addition, he has studied natural luminescent materials: the well-known Bologna stone and hackmanite minerals, and solved the mystery of the luminescent properties of these materials.

Mika has also published a lot of research on learning and teaching chemistry, and the way he works is well illustrated by the fact that he started university pedagogical studies but did not settle for 10 credits or even 60 credits: he did his second dissertation on the subject. Not only is Mika a good researcher and a good teacher, he also knows how to compose, sing and play guitar, and he has composed and produced the theme song for the Inorganic Materials Chemistry Research Group and the group’s music video on YouTube.

Esko Salojärvi’s dissertation defense

Fe complex from Esko’s dissertation, imaged by Adj. Prof. Anssi Peuronen

Esko Salojärvi is having his dissertation defense on Friday, February 19, at 12 o’clock on Zoom. The opponent is Professor Timo Repo from the University of Helsinki, and our Adjunct Professor Ari Lehtonen acts as the custos. Esko’s thesis with the subject “The optical and magnetic properties of redox-active d-block metal complexes with non-innocent ligands” can be found here:

The news (in Finnish) can be found here:

Meet Mousumi Dey, our newest MSc student

Meet Mousumi Dey, MSc, our newest student who travels all the way from Tampere to carry out research in Mika’s group. She chose inorganic chemistry because organic feels sometimes quite hard (I think many of us inorganicists can relate to that!), and from the beginning she has been interested in nanotechnology, batteries, and photochromic materials, to name a few.

Mousumi obtained her MSc degree in India and has now come to our group to learn more about luminescence and photochromic materials as an inorganic chemistry MSc student. Colors are a natural thing for her since she is very artistic, as you can see here in her artwork samples:

Anssi Peuronen has been appointed as an Adjunct Professor

Anssi Peuronen, PhD, was appointed Adjunct Professor by Rector’s decision on January 12, 2021. We interviewed him with three questions:

1. What is your specialty in the field of inorganic chemistry and what interests you the most?

My interest lies in structural research and the study of how the information of the exact atomic structure of a compound/material as well as its organisation in the solid state can be utilised to understand and predict its properties and used in the design of new functional materials. In particular, I focus on the study of crystalline materials using X-ray crystallography, albeit other methods such as NMR, mass spectrometry, and computational chemistry are also important in my research. My current research topics include ion-selective supramolecular compounds, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and catalytically active compounds wherein determining the exact atomic structure is often particularly important.

2. How did you end up in Turku?

I am originally from an area called Pohjanmaa (Ostrobothnia), but I attended a university for the first time in Jyväskylä, Department of Chemistry, in the early 2000s. After graduating with a master’s degree (2009), I worked at the University of Jyväskylä’s Department of Chemistry as an Assistant and later as a University Teacher and a Doctoral student. My dissertation on Inorganic and Analytical chemistry was completed in 2014, after which I worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher in a project funded by the Academy of Finland (2014–2018) in the research group of Manu Lahtinen and as a visiting researcher in the research group of Professor Kari Rissanen. I joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Turku with the help of postdoctoral funding granted by the Academy of Finland in 2018. While working in Turku, I paid a 6-month research visit to the University of Sheffield, in Professor Lee Brammer‘s research group. After my postdoctoral term, I will continue in the Inorganic Materials Chemistry research group as a University Teacher.

3. What do you tend to do in your free time?

I spend my free time with my two kids and by planning home renovation projects. Consuming music and producing music-like sounds as well as outdoor activities, fishing, and dreaming of a classic car are my favourite hobbies.

Narhari Sapkota is our newest PhD student

Narhari Sapkota is the newest PhD student in our research group. He is beginning to study coordination polymers and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) under Adjunct Professor Ari Lehtonen’s supervision. We asked him a couple of questions:

1️. Why did you choose (inorganic) chemistry and what’s the most interesting thing in it?
Chemistry is the central science. The air we breathe, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, everywhere there is chemistry. Chemistry can give a solution to the global challenges. These have driven me towards chemistry.

2️. Where have you studied earlier and what do you like about Turku/ University of Turku?
I completed my Master’s degree from the University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu. Turku is a vibrant city. Especially the Aura river and Turku Cathedral I like most. I like everything about Turku University.

3️ What do you do during your free time / what are your hobbies?
I generally like reading, playing football and cycling in my free time.

Chemistry Dept.’s The Most Impressive Achievement ’20 award

Vuoden vaikuttavin teko '20

Just before the Christmas vacation we were awarded “The Most Impressive Achievement ’20” prize by our Chemistry Department and Head of Department Juha-Pekka Salminen. The justification reads “For the presentation of research results in national journals and marketing of one’s own field and group through social media channels“. Thank you!

IMC theme song video!

To celebrate the five-year anniversary of Inorganic Materials Chemistry group at the University of Turku – and to pass the time during these social distancing times – we created the IMC theme song. The current IMC group and alumni joined forces to bring you joy in the darkening autumn of Finland. Enjoy! Warning: flashy lights and fast images!

Newspaper article: IMC face masks

Turun Sanomat, the biggest local newspaper, asked for photos of readers’ face masks. We saw an opportunity there to show our new face masks with our logo on them:

“Sami Vuori from the chemistry department of University of Turku’s says: “We ordered our research group (Inorganic Materials Chemistry research group, IMC) face masks with our logo on them.