2015 April

Pseudoparticles travel photoactive material

Wednesday, 29th April 2015Miscellaneous

Scientists Measure Important Process in the Conversion of Light Energy – Publication in Nature Communications

Using the photoactive zinc oxide material, scientists studied the formation and migration of so-called polarons. (Figure: Patrick Rinke/Aalto University)

Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin and the Aalto University in Helsinki/Finland have unveiled an important step in the conversion of light into storable energy: They studied the formation of so-called polarons in zinc oxide. The pseudoparticles travel through the photoactive material until they are converted into electrical or chemical energy at an interface. Their findings that are of relevance to photovoltaics among others are now published in the renowned journal Nature Communications.

The KIT has issued a press release, which has been also published on eurekalert.org and alphagalileo.org. You can read it here.

Original publication:

Hikmet Sezen, Honghui Shang, Fabian Bebensee, Chengwu Yang, Maria Buchholz, Alexei Nefedov, Stefan Heissler, Christian Carbogno, Matthias Scheffler, Patrick Rinke, and Christof Wöll: Evidence for photogenerated intermediate hole polarons in ZnO.
Nature Communications, 22nd April 2015. DOI 10.1038/ncomms7901

Prizes Awarded to Directors Hajo Freund and Robert Schlögl

Wednesday, 1st April 2015Miscellaneous

Hajo Freund of the Fritz Haber Institute has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Michel Boudart Award for the Advancement of Catalysis.

The North American Catalysis Society has awarded its 2015 Michel Boudart Award for the Advancement of Catalysis to FHI director Professor Hajo Freund. In its statement the Society says: “We are pleased to announce that Pro­fes­sor Hans Joachim Fre­und of the Fritz Haber Insti­tute is the recip­i­ent of the 2015 Michel Boudart for the Advance­ment of Catal­y­sis, spon­sored by the Hal­dor Top­søe Com­pany and admin­is­tered jointly by the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety and the Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Catal­y­sis Soci­eties. The Award will be pre­sented at the 24th North Amer­i­can Meet­ing of the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety (Pitts­burgh, June 2015) and at Europacat XII (Kazan, Rus­sia, August 2015).

This Award rec­og­nizes and encour­ages indi­vid­ual con­tri­bu­tions to the elu­ci­da­tion of the mech­a­nism and active sites involved in cat­alytic phe­nom­ena and to the devel­op­ment of new meth­ods or con­cepts that advance the under­stand­ing and the prac­tice of het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis. It is meant to rec­og­nize indi­vid­u­als who bring together the rigor and the inter­na­tional impact that exem­pli­fied the accom­plish­ments and the career of Pro­fes­sor Michel Boudart.

Pro­fes­sor Hajo Fre­und is being specif­i­cally rec­og­nized for his ground­break­ing exper­i­men­tal advances in under­stand­ing ele­men­tary steps of reac­tions on cat­alytic sur­faces and for his stud­ies bridg­ing rel­e­vant catal­y­sis and sur­face reac­tions at sin­gle crys­tal sur­faces through the use of novel model cat­a­lysts with well-controlled struc­tural fea­tures.” (read the full statement).


Professor Robert Schlögl was awarded the Alwin Mittasch Prize 2015 in March at the Annual Meeting of German Catalysis Scientists in Weimar.

Unicat states: “Robert Schlögl has been a UniCat member since its foundation in 2007 working in the Research Fields D1 and D2. In addition, he is Scientific Director at BasCat, the UniCat BASF Joint Lab.

This prize is conferred in recognition of his extensive contributions to the characterization of heterogeneous catalysts and their preparation for industrial applications, by which he has succeeded in bridging the gap between model catalysis and complex technical catalysis. His work provides a seminal, new understanding of catalytically active materials, thus opening up the way to more effective development of industrially applicable catalysts in the future.

The Alwin Mittasch Prize is awarded to researchers who have both extended the fundamentals of catalysis and found exemplary applications in industrial practice. This prize is announced internationally and comes with a cash sum of 10,000 euros. It is sponsored by BASF SE and is generally conferred by DECHEMA and the German Catalysis Society (GeCatS) every three years. The Alwin Mittasch Prize is Germany’s most prestigious award in catalysis research.” (read the full statement).