Gabriella Mastantuoni designs multi-functional materials
Gabriella Mastantuoni is a recent PhD in glycoscience at KTH. She successfully defended her thesis “Engineering of lignin in wood towards functional materials” on 19 September.
"My main focus is developing protocols for the chemical and physical modification of wood to design sustainable multi-functional materials. I have explored various modification routes to tailor wood properties, enhancing permeability, increasing porosity, and improving compatibility with added functionalities, like conductive polymers. The resulting composites have been utilized as thin films, coatings, batteries, and sensors, showing the versatility and benefits of utilizing wood substrates in applications where petroleum-based materials are predominantly used," says Gabriella Mastantuoni.
What challenges did you face during your work?
”PhD life presents numerous challenges, from malfunctioning instruments to samples lost in the postal system. However, time management is probably the hardest. Juggling responsibilities such as lab work, instrument maintenance, writing, and staying updated with literature and coursework requires time and discipline to master.”
Any specific memorable moments during your time as a PhD?
”A PhD has a steep learning curve. I spent the first months following protocols and trying to learn as much as possible on the subject. The first time someone came to me for help marked a very rewarding turning point.”
What will you do next?
”I will continue working at KTH for a few more months, concluding ongoing projects and facilitating the transfer of knowledge to incoming PhD students. Afterward, I am planning to remain in the field of materials science, and I am looking for new and exciting opportunities.”
Text and photo: Jon Lindhe