Yana Vaynzof Receives ERC Starting Grant

Heidelberg physicist Yana Vaynzof is receiving a highly endowed grant from the European Research Council (ERC), an ERC Starting Grant for excellent young researchers. The approximately 1.5 million euros will be used to fund her research in condensed matter physics for the next five years; her project, entitled "Revealing the electronic energy landscape of multi-layered optoelectronic devices" (ENERGYMAPS), is scheduled to start in September 2017. Yana Vaynzof is a junior professor at the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics and a member of the Centre for Advanced Materials of Heidelberg University.

In the ENERGYMAPS project, Prof. Vaynzof and her team will address a long-standing question in the field of solution-processed optoelectronics: what is the energetic level alignment in devices consisting of multiple layers? "Emerging optoelectronic devices such as photovoltaic cells and light-emitting diodes have tremendous potential for industrial applications. The active layers of such devices contain novel materials, for example, organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites," explains Prof. Vaynzof. These devices consist of multiple layers deposited from solution, making it difficult to use traditional spectroscopic techniques to probe the energy levels at the bulk and at buried interfaces. In the ERC-funded project, the Heidelberg researchers will develop a new spectroscopic method that will help reveal the electronic energy landscape of the entire device before and after operation. "This information is critical for both understanding the loss mechanisms within the device and advancing the field by developing new strategies of interfacial engineering, material design and device architecture," emphasises Prof. Vaynzof.

Yana Vaynzof (b. 1981) earned her bachelor‘s degree with honours at the Technion ’’ Israel Institute of Technology and completed her master’s degree at Princeton University in the USA. She obtained her doctorate in physics in 2011 at the Cavendish Laboratory of the University of Cambridge (UK) and continued on there to conduct postdoctoral research in the field of photoemission spectroscopy on optoelectronic devices. In 2014, she joined the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics at Heidelberg University as a Junior Professor for physical principles of organic electronics.

The European Research Council awards the Starting Grant to outstanding young researchers. Funding is awarded based on their scientific excellence and the innovative potential of their research ideas.

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