The European Research Council awards the ERC Starting Grant for top-level early-career scientists to Ellen Backus, who is working at the MPI-P. The physical chemist will receive funds for her scientific work amounting to 1.5 million euros for the next five years.
To do this she uses laser pulses to cause a vibration of the molecules, and then she measures the resonance of the molecular vibration. This allows conclusions to be drawn about the dynamics and interaction of the molecules. In a second step, a further laser pulse takes over the sun’s task: It splits the water molecules.
The pulses are comparable to the flashes of a stroboscope, but with durations of femtoseconds, which are 10-15 of a second. With these ultra-short time intervals it is now possible to sequentially record how the molecules move on the one hand and how they split on the other.
The photocatalytic splitting of water has great potential to produce hydrogen in an ecological and economic way. As previously forecasted, hydrogen as a source of energy will play a decisive role for covering energy requirements in future; however fewer losses have to be achieved during the reaction for it to become economical. Ellen Backus’ scientific work is concentrated on the fundamental processes that occur during splitting in order to understand the energy transport, and the molecules’ bond behavior.ERC Starting Grants are among the most prestigious grants awarded by the European Research Council for world-class researchers. They give the opportunity for top-level early-career scientists to conduct fundamental research and establish or consolidate their own research team. According to the ERC, last year, 500 research scientists and their projects were funded with a total of about 800 million euros.
Stephan Imhof | Max-Planck-Institut
Tracking down pest control strategies
31.01.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden
Polymers and Fuels from Renewable Resources
29.01.2018 | DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V.
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
20.02.2018 | Life Sciences
20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering
20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy