By Christian Wißler, University of Bayreuth Press Office
Professor Dr. Anna Köhler, experimental physicist at the University of Bayreuth and an Associate Investigator with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science, has been awarded the Max Born Prize 2020 by the German Physical Society (DPG) and the British Institute of Physics (IOP).
The prize, named after the German physicist, mathematician and Nobel Prize winner, has been awarded annually since 1973 for outstanding research contributions to physics. After 47 scientists, Anna Köhler is the first woman to receive this award.
Prof Köhler holds the chair for soft matter optoelectronics at the University of Bayreuth. In today's press release, the DPG honors “groundbreaking work on the photophysics of organic semiconductors”. Organic semiconductor materials have the advantage that they combine the technologically attractive properties of plastic with electrical conductivity. They are therefore used more and more frequently in TV screens, foldable displays in smartphones or flexible solar cells made from organic semiconductor films. The DPG particularly emphasizes the achievements of the Bayreuth award winner in basic research, in particular on "triplet states, the dissociation of excitons and the intermolecular interaction of chromophores in pi-conjugated polymers".
“I am very pleased that the DPG honors our basic physical research in Bayreuth with this highly respected award, which is an indispensable prerequisite for the development of high-tech materials and innovative products, for example in the communication and energy sectors. The decision of the DPG published today is a great honor - not only for me, but also for all members of our research team, without whose years of commitment the previous research successes would not have been possible,” said Prof Köhler.
The physicist coordinates an intercontinental research network in the field of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) at the University of Bayreuth, which is funded by the European Union. From 2013 to 2016 she was Vice President of the University of Bayreuth for International Affairs and Diversity.
The Max Born Prize is awarded by the DPG and the Institute of Physics (IOP), based in London, to a physicist in Germany and Great Britain on an annual basis. As the DPG also announced today, the Max Born Prize 2021 will go to the British astrophysicist Prof. Dr. Hiranya Peiris.
This article originally appeared on the University of Bayreuth website, and is available here.