Dr. Jovana Milic, the recipient of a PRIMA grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation, has joined the Adolphe Merkle Institute’s Soft Matter Physics group. She will investigate hybrid materials for the new generation of photovoltaic devices, perovskite solar cells.
These cells are one of the most promising developments for photovoltaic energy, and the first ones are close to being commercialized. Development over the past few years has seen them become as efficient as traditional solar cells. However, their long-term stability must be improved. To address this, Milic’s project, “Supramolecular engineering of functional nanomaterials for energy conversion”, will take an innovative approach.
She will investigate hybrid materials that mimic control strategies found in nature, such as those found in natural photosynthesis. She plans to incorporate molecular moieties in perovskites to create layered structures that resist environmental degradation and develop materials that can purposely modify their structure to control their properties under operational conditions. According to Milic, who previously worked at the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) and Lausanne (EPFL), this approach could be applied beyond solar-to-electric energy conversion for the development of smart nanomaterials.
PRIMA grants are aimed at outstanding women researchers who demonstrate the potential required to obtain a professorship according to the Swiss National Science Foundation. Grantees conduct an independent research project for up to five years, with their own team at a Swiss research institution, usually functioning at a group leader level.