August Wilhelm von Hofmann Medal for Michael Grätzel

August Wilhelm von Hofmann Medal for Michael Grätzel

Author: ChemViews Magazine

Michael Grätzel, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, has been awarded the August Wilhelm von Hofmann Medal by the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh, German Chemical Society). The award was presented at the 7th EuCheMS Chemistry Congress in Liverpool, UK, on August 30, 2018.

The August Wilhelm von Hofmann Medal is awarded every two years and honors outstanding achievements in chemistry, in particular by scientists working outside of Germany. Michael Grätzel is honored for his pioneering work on low-cost dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), or Grätzel cells. His research interests include photovoltaics, photocatalysis, lithium-ion batteries, and molecular switches.

Michael Grätzel studied chemistry at the Free University Berlin, Germany, and received his Ph.D. from the Technical University of Berlin in 1971. From 1972 to 1974, he was a Petroleum Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Notre Dame, IN, USA. He then returned to Germany and became a Researcher at the Hahn-Meitner Institute, Berlin. In 1975, he became Lecturer for Photochemistry and Physical Chemistry at the Free University Berlin, where he completed his habilitation the following year. In 1977, Grätzel was appointed Associate Professor for Physical Chemistry at EPFL. He was promoted to Full Professor and Director of the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces in 1981 and has remained at EPFL until today.

Among many other honors, Grätzel has received the Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation in 2014, the Marcel Benoist Prize from the Marcel Benoist Foundation, Switzerland, in 2013, and the Millennium Technology Prize from the Technology Academy Finland in 2010, as well as several honorary doctorates.

Selected Publications

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