LCN researcher awarded Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award

The Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, has announced that LCN researcher Professor Franco Cacialli has been awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

These awards, jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), aim to provide universities with additional support to enable them to retain respected UK scientists of outstanding achievement and potential.

Professor Cacialli receives his award for his work on the Fundamentals and applications of printable and nanostructured semiconductors.   

Franco Cacialli is Professor of Physics in the LCN and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCL. His research interests focus on the physics and application of organic semiconductors to Photovoltaic/light-emitting diodes, and to field-effect transistors with particular attention to the electronic properties of the electrode-semiconductors interface, an issue of fundamental importance in virtually all device applications.

The role and importance of advanced materials throughout mankind’s history and pre-history is clearly marked by usual denominations given to the various evolutionary ages.  Modern age is no exception, and has the remarkable advantage afforded by the extraordinary diversity and abundance of specialised advanced functional materials for so many different purposes. 

Whereas silicon has dominated information and communication technology (ICT) so far, a host of new materials is now available for tasks for which silicon is not best suited, either because of intrinsic properties (e.g. lack of luminescence), or of cost.  Organic semiconductors (OS) figure prominently among these, owing to the combination of cheap fabrication over large areas, high luminescence efficiency (useful for displays and illumination), and strong absorption per unit thickness (useful for photovoltaic applications). 

Professor Cacialli intends to use printable organic semiconductors and inorganic materials (such as perovskites) to address various issues in the area of energy generation and ICT.  He is one of 19 newly appointed award holders are working on a wide range of topics including medical imaging, climate change and string theory.  The full list of appointments can be viewed at https://royalsociety.org/news/2015/03/wolfson-research-merit-awards-march/

The Wolfson Foundation is a grant-making charity established in 1955. Funding is given to support excellence. More information is available from http://www.wolfson.org.uk

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