Professor Laura Herz

Professor Herz recognised by Royal Society of Chemistry

Photovoltaics and nanoscience
Condensed Matter Physics

Professor Laura Herz from Oxford’s Department of Physics has won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division Mid-Career Award.

The award recognises Professor Herz’s pioneering work advancing the development of solar cells through fundamental understanding of electronic, structural and chemical properties of next-generation light-harvesting materials. Her work is helping our understanding of how the energy provided by sunlight can be converted into electricity in solar cells based on new absorber materials. While silicon solar cells currently dominate the market, more efficient materials may enable us to pay less for the energy we consume. Such advances in solar cells are needed so we can make the switch to renewable energy generation affordable: to address climate change and for energy security.

New organic-inorganic metal halide perovskite materials have recently emerged as active materials in solar cells, exceeding power conversion efficiencies of 25%. Professor Herz’s group has been at the forefront of developing an understanding of the fundamental processes that underpin the impressive performance of these materials.

She comments: ‘I am absolutely delighted and honoured to receive this prize, and would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding contributions from the early career researchers who have worked with me over the years.’

‘Laura’s work is of vital importance to our society so it is wonderful  to see that she has been recognised by the Royal Society of Chemistry – thoroughly deserved and we are all excited to see what is to come from her group,’ adds Professor Ian Shipsey, head of the Department of Physics at Oxford.