The German physicst Karl Leo studied physics at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg (Gemany) and obtained the “Diplomphysiker” degree with a thesis on solar cells at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Germany). In 1988, he obtained the PhD degree from the University of Stuttgart for a doctoral thesis performed at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart. From 1989 to 1991, he was a postdoc at AT&T Bell Laboratories (United States). In 1991 he joined the RWTH Aachen University (Germany) as an assistant professor and obtained the Habilitation degree. In 1993 he joined the Dresden University of Technology (Germany) as a professor of optoelectronics. Since 2001 until 2013, he has been also with the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems, being head of department and then director.
He won some of the most prestigious German awards in science, technology and innovation, such as the Leibniz award (2002) and the German Future Prize (2011).
He is the author of more than 550 refereed publications, with more than 23.000 citations, having an H index = 73 (Google Scholar). He is (co-)inventor of approximately 50 patent families.
Read our interview with the lecturer.
SBPMat newsletter: – Under your viewpoint, which are your main contributions in the field of Materials Science and Engineering? Please think about papers, patents, spin-off companies, products etc.
Karl Leo: – I spent most of the last decades improving organic semiconductors and developing new device concepts for organic semiconductor devices. One example is the development of controlled electrical doping, which allowed much higher electrical conductivities. As a result, we could e.g. realize white organic light emitting diodes which are more efficient than fluorescent tubes. As device principle, we e.g. developed novel vertical transistors which can drive very high currents so that they can be used to drive OLED displays.
SBPMat newsletter: – Please give us a short teaser about your plenary talk at the XIII SBPMat meeting. What do you intend to broach?
Karl Leo: – I will talk about highly efficient organic devices, touching both organic LED and organic solar cells. I will describe the challenges in materials research and the importance of new device concepts.
SBPMat newsletter: – Could you choose some of your main publications (about 3 or 4) on the topics of your plenary lecture to share them with our public?
Karl Leo: –
1. Doped Organic Transistors: Inversion and Depletion Regime. Lüssem, B., Tietze, M.L., Kleemann, H., Hoßbach, C., Bartha, J.W., Zakhidov, A. and Leo, K. , Nature Comm. 4, 2775 (2013).
2. Phase-locked coherent modes in a patterned metal-organic microcavity. Brückner, R. Zakhidov, A., Scholz, R., Sudzius, S., Hintschich, S.I., Fröb, H., Lyssenko, V.G. and Leo, K., Nature Photonics 6, 322–326 (2012).
3. White organic light-emitting diodes with fluorescent tube efficiency. Reineke, S.; Lindner, F.; Schwartz, G. et al., Nature 459, 234 (2009).
SBPMat newsletter: – Feel free to leave other comments to our readers from the Materials research community.
Karl Leo: – The field of materials research is as exciting as ever, and in the field of organic semiconductors, we are still in the beginning, maybe where silicon was in 1970…
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado is the U.S. primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
The Science without Borders is a large scale nationwide scholarship program primarily funded by the Brazilian federal government. The program seeks to strengthen and expand the initiatives of science and technology, innovation and competitiveness through international mobility of undergraduate and graduate students and researchers.
We would like to offer the opportunity for outstanding Postdoctoral Researchers to come to NREL through the Brazil-US Consortium for Innovation in Energy Materials (CINEMA) initiative under the Brazilian Science Without Borders program to develop research activities within NREL’s Chemical Sciences and Nanoscience Division in the area of Perovskites and Organic semiconductors.
1) Our current research activities on perovskite-based PVs focuses on (a) solution processing of halide perovskites, (b) fabrication of planar and mesostructured perovskite cells, and (c) fundamental understanding of charge transport and recombination. Our objective is to understand material effects on the basic physical and chemical processes that are important to device operations. The insight learned from the basic studies will be used as guide to control material properties and to develop more effective device architectures. Examples of our recent publications on perovskites include  J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 5, 490–494 (2014);  Chem. Commun., 50, 1605–1607 (2014);  J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 4, 2880–2884 (2013).
2) Fundamental research topics of particular interest for organic semiconductors include the structural characterization of organic materials in the solid state by X-ray or Neutron scattering methods, transient photoconductivity for the study of photoinduced charge generation and decay dynamics in novel donor:acceptor materials and device-based methods for charge mobility and recombination studies. As to more applied device level research, we are also interested in developing novel electrical contact architectures for upscaling OPV devices. Some of our relevant publications in organic semiconductors and devices include  ChemPhysChem (2014), accepted. DOI: 10.1002/cphc.201301022;  Adv. Funct. Mater., 22 (2012) 4115;  Macromolecules 46 (2013) 1350;  Organic Electronics 12 (2011) 108.
Postdoctoral candidates from Brazil willing to develop research activities in areas relevant to the projects above are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidates will be expected to communicate their results through journal publications and conference presentations. In general, to be considered, candidates should have a demonstrated track record of success in addressing fundamental science questions and devising solutions to challenging problems, a Ph.D degree in related field and a strong record of publications/presentations will be a plus.
Send inquires to firstname.lastname@example.org and to apply, please, send CV along with a list of publications, and the names of at least three professional references to the same e-mail address (subject: “PostDoc Brazil”). Note deadlines for applications at http://www.cienciasemfronteiras.gov.br