Research Objective

The core of my research involves the control of light-induced ultrafast processes in molecular, inorganic and hybrid complexes with solar energy application. We study both complexes with application in photovoltaics (Figure 1A) and in photocatalysis (Figure 1B). Key targets towards efficient harvesting of sunlight are directional light-induced electron transfer and long-lived charge separation. We study the control and optimization of these processes via:

  • tuning the 3D nanostructure of the solar device components, and
  • using external stimuli such as plasmonic field enhancements.

Figure 1. Light-induced ultrafast processes in a photovoltaic cell (A) and solar water splitting photoelectrochemical cell (B).


The overall efficiency of solar energy devices is determined by many complex processes occurring in a broad time window ranging from femtoseconds to milliseconds. We record a real-time molecular movie of all these processes using advanced complementary spectroscopic techniques such as femtosecond transient absorption, ultrafast x-ray absorption and time-resolved photoluminescence (using streak camera or single photon counting detection). The first and latter methods are present locally, while we perform transient x-ray absorption experiments at external synchrotron and x-ray free electron laser facilities.


In addition to internal collaborations within MESA+, we also collaborate with the following scientists: