Sammy Verbruggen obtained his Bachelor degree in Bioscience Engineering - Chemistry in 2008 at UAntwerpen, his Master degree in Bioscience Engineering - Catalytic Technology in 2010 at KU Leuven and a joint PhD degree in Bioscience Engineering at both UAntwerpen and KU Leuven in 2014, as aspirant of the FWO. After a postdoctoral Fellowship of the FWO, a part of which in Pau (France), he was appointed guest professor in 2016 and as Tenure Track (Assistant) Professor in February 2019.
Currently he is working on the central theme of (plasmonic) photocatalysis for environmental and energy applications. By maintaining a holistic bottom-up approach, every aspect of this research theme is addressed. The main focus is on the fundamental level of surface science (catalyst synthesis, surface modification, morphological engineering, etc.), but other facets such as reactor design, activity testing, social and economic aspects are elaborately addressed as well. The main research goal is to boost the photocatalytic activity of metal oxide semiconductors by improving their solar light conversion efficiency and photon utilization capacity. One of the primary strategies is surface modification with plasmonic nanostructures. A thorough fundamental mechanistic understanding of these composite nanomaterials is key.
Turning fundamentals into applications is what our research group stands for. This requires a multidisciplinary approach through close collaboration and open-mindedness towards every scientific discipline.