Ferry Prins has obtained an ERC Consolidator Grant for his project EnVision (Engineered Carrier Transport in Nanostructured Semiconductors using Functional Disorder).
The EnVision project aims to explore “functional disorder” in nanostructured semiconductors to improve energy transport. To understand the detailed role of disorder in the transport of different types of energy carriers, new super-resolution optical microscopy techniques will be developed that can observe the motion of these particles with resolution of a few nanometers and sub-nanoseconds. This really allows you to make little movies of the transport, which is an incredibly powerful way to learn about energy carriers.
With the new understanding that will emerge from these super-resolution studies, the final goal is to start defining the design rules for the conditions under which disorder can be used as a positive driving force. This appears counterintuitive, because disorder is typically considered to be a purely negative influence for transport, but recent theoretical studies have pointed out that small amounts of disorder can drive carrier transport along local energy gradients. If such processes can be controlled, energy can be transported and harvested more efficiently.
We congratulate Ferry Prins!