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Photonics News

2016-12-14 [ ]

Anton-Paar's Award for Andreas Pospischil

Every year the company Anton Paar gives two awards: one for physics and one for chemistry. An expert jury made up of members of the Austrian Physical Society and representatives of a number of Austrian universities selects the winners.

Alberta Bonanni (Professor of Physics, Head of the Nitride Compound Semiconductors Laboratory, Chair of the Condensed Matter Division of the Austrian Physical Society, Johannes Kepler University), Andreas Pospischil (Winner of the Anton Paar Award for Physics, 2016)

This year's Anton Paar Award for Physics goes to Dr. Andreas Pospischil for his PhD "Generation and detection of light in two-dimensional materials", submitted to the Technical University of Vienna (Austria), Institute for Photonics.

The winner , Andreas Pospischil, gives an insight into the subject of his thesis:

"It doesn't get any thinner than this: Graphene, a carbon material which shows special electronic properties, consists of just one single layer of atoms. At the Technical University of Vienna we managed to combine a graphene photodetector with a conventional silicone chip. With this it is possible to convert light signals into electrical signals directly on the chip. We could show that this novel photodetector works extremely quickly over wide frequency ranges. Therefore, this technology could further pave the way for optical data transfer within computer chips.

Exciting technological possibilities are opened up when other materials are arranged in single or only a few layers of atoms. At the Institute for Photonics we produced the first diode made of a single layer of tungsten diselenide. The material absorbs light - similar to graphene - but with tungsten diselenide it is possible to generate electrical power. Experiments show that this material is suitable for producing wafer-thin, flexible solar cells. It could even be possible to produce wafer-thin displays as the ultra-thin layer not only converts sunlight into electricity but also the opposite is true: with an electricity supply the layer can be made to light up."