Ms Muthumuni Managa, a 1st year Chemistry Doctoral student under the supervision of Distinguished Prof Tebello Nyokong recently visited the Frumkin Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia.
This forms part of a research collaboration between the South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR). The joint research project involves “new optical limiting hybrid materials based on phthalocyanines – quantum dots nanocomposites” and the principal researchers/investigators are Distinguished Prof Tebello Nyokong (Rhodes University, South Africa) and Prof Aslan Yu. Tsivadze (Frumkin Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences).
“When my supervisor first told me I will be going to Russia and with all the stories I heard about it I was a bit reluctant but then I thought just go see how it will be and definitely you will have first-hand stories to tell. I left South African on the 30th of May and arrive on the 31 of May, what a journey and alone. My first experience in Russia at the customs made me for a moment want to come home but it was quite a funny experience though. I was welcomed to Moscow by Prof Gorbunova. I visited the lab the following day where I was welcomes by Dr Martynov whom I worked with very closely on the synthesis of 2,3-bis[2’-(2’’-hydroxyethoxy)ethoxy]-9,10,16,17,23,24-hexa-n-butoxyphthalocyanine (1H2).
I enjoyed the weather so much during my stay it was summer time and I was glad as Russian winter for visitors is described as unbearable. On the social side of my visit I was able to take a tour around Moscow and visited the most famous visitor attraction the Red square. I honestly believe I went to Moscow at the right time because during my stay there were two festivals that occurred one of them was “Taste of Moscow” where I was able to meet one of South African best chef Siba Mtongana imagine in a foreign country but hey it was fun. Another festival occurred when I visited St Petersburg called “Red Sails festival”, most amazing fireworks I had ever seen. During my weekend visit to St Petersburg I experience white night which was so amazing.
Thank you to my supervisor Prof Nyokong for opening new avenues and giving me an opportunity to learn, grow and be able to appreciate the universal language of science. International visit have made me appreciate the science that we do in South Africa. I would also like to thank my hosts, Dr Martynov, Prof Gorbunova, Prof Tshivadze and the whole of Lab 213 at the Frumkin institute for the amazing memories created”.