Dr Dominik Berg, University of Luxembourg, has received the €10 000 Umicore Scientific Award for his ground breaking PhD work in the field of thin film photovoltaics. Dr Berg's entry was one of 35 submitted from all over Europe. His pioneering research was supported by the Laboratory for Photovoltaics at the University of Luxembourg funded by the ATTRACT program of Luxembourg's National Research Fund. Dr Berg worked at the university for four years and his doctoral research was supervised by Dr Phillip Dale and Dr Susanne Siebentritt.
Dr Berg said: "I feel very honoured to receive this award which will support my desire to continue doing research. I think my work could have not been as successful as it ended up being without all the many fruitful discussions that I had with my PhD supervisors who had an open door for me which I am very thankful for. They encouraged me to stray away from the regular experiment plan and "play around" in the lab."
Marc Grynberg, Umicore CEO commented: "It is a pleasure to hand over the 2013 Umicore Scientific Award to Dominik for his brilliant PhD thesis. I attach great value to this award as it rewards scientific research of a very high level and it contributes to our mission to develop materials for clean technology."
The Laboratory for Photovoltaics of the University of Luxembourg is a group of researchers developing new materials and processes for solar cells. The laboratory focuses also on furthering the physical understanding of the materials and interfaces involved in these solar cells. In his thesis Dr Berg focused on understanding the formation of high quality Cu2ZnSnS4 absorber layers for high efficient thin film solar cells. As part of his research, a novel annealing approach to form Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 thin films was introduced and patented.
Dr Berg is now continuing his research on thin film photovoltaics at the University of Delaware's Institute of Energy Conversion which has close links with the University of Luxembourg's Laboratory of Photovoltaics. Dr Berg said:
"I do miss Luxembourg and the Greater region of Saar-Lor-Lux" as I had a great time at the University of Luxembourg and also because I grew up in the "grande region", just across the border in Germany. Luxembourg is a great and beautiful country with friendly people and a good work environment. I could certainly see myself coming back to Luxembourg and to work for the University again at some point in the future."