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IUPAP Young Scientist Prize 2017 awarded to G Grancini

October 2017 Number 113

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IUPAP Young Scientist Prize 2017 awarded to G Grancini

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

Giulia Grancini is Team Leader at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) – Energypolis, currently based in Sion (Valais, Switzerland). She graduated from Politecnico of Milan in 2008 (MS in physical engineering). In 2012, she obtained her PhD in physics cum laude from the Politecnico of Milan with an experimental thesis focused on the realization of a new femtosecond-microscope for mapping the ultrafast phenomena at organic interfaces (see scheme below). During the PhD, she worked for one year as a visiting scientistat the physics department of Oxford University, where she pioneered new concepts within polymer/ oxide solar cell technology.

From 2012–2015, she has been a post-doctoral researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology (CNST@PoliMi) in Milan. In 2015 she joined the group of Prof. Nazeeruddin at EPFL, awarded with a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship. For her seminal contributions in the field of photophysics of hybrid perovskites, she received in october 2015 the prestigious National Award for Physics “EDISON, in memoria di Francesco Somaini” from the Edison Company & Alessandro Volta Foundation. Since 2016, she leads the PhysicsSolarLab at EPFL, aiming to address the fundamental physics behind advanced photovoltaic devices. In 2017, she was awarded with the Swiss Ambizione Energy Grant, which provides independent young researchers with up to 1 million CHF for leading innovative projects in the energy sector. Currently, she is also principal investigator of an European LaserLab project and co-manager of different Swiss projects with academic and industrial partners. She is author of more than 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers including a few in high-impact journals (more than 6000 overall citations) on the photophysical and optical properties of nano-structured semiconductors.

Giulia’s work focuses on the current scientific challenge of exploring the fundamental photophysical processes underlying the operation of advanced materials for optoelectronic application, with special attention to photovoltaics. She contributed with pioneering work to the understanding of the ultrafast interface physics that governs the operation of organic and hybrid perovskite solar cells. Examples include the visualization of the charge transfer and exciton dissociation dynamics involved in the photovoltaic action by developing state-of-the-art sub 10-fs ultrafast spectroscopy systems and the determination of the nature of the photoexcited species in hybrid perovskites and their dynamical evolution in the femtosecond/nanosecond timescale. Her works have been highly cited and recognized by the research community to be of utmost importance for guiding the development of efficient new generation solar technologies.

Giulia Grancini was awarded the IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Optics 2017 for her “deep knowledge on photophysical properties and ultrafast light-induced dynamical processes”.

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a) Scheme of the in-house developed femtosecond microscope. (b) Linear absorption CH3NH3PbI3 crystals. Two spots are highlighted where the ultrafast dynamics differ due to the local variation in crystal structure.

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