Each year hundreds of the best and brightest researchers gather in Lindau, Germany, for the Nobel Laureate Meeting. There, the newest generation of scientists mingles with Nobel Prize winners and discusses their work and ideas. The 2013 meeting is dedicated to chemistry and will involve young researchers from 78 different countries. In anticipation of the event, which will take place from June 30 through July 5, we are highlighting a group of attendees under 30 who represent the future of chemistry. The following profile is the fourth in a series of 30.
Name: David Bialas
Born: Würzburg, Germany
Current position: PhD student at the University of Würzburg
Education: Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemistry from the University of Würzburg
What is your field of research?
The main goal of my research is to better understand the physical processes taking place in organic solar cells and to create active materials with improved properties. My specific area of research involves the design and synthesis of supramolecular p/n-heterojunctions that are used as model systems for organic photovoltaics and have potential for application in organic electronics.
What drew you to chemistry, and to that research area in particular?
Chemistry impresses me because of its large diversity. It is very exciting to start with an idea created on a sheet of paper and follow it though synthesis, physical characterization and, hopefully, device fabrication. Moreover, possibly improving humans’ way of life is a great motivation for doing chemical research.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
It’s difficult to predict what will happen in 10 years. My wish is to contribute to the development of organic materials with high charge–carrier mobilities [which describes how quickly electrons move through a material]. Those materials offer the possibility to fabricate devices such as organic solar cells at a low cost. Such materials will help usher in a new age where humans utilize energy directly from the sun as a primary energy source instead of fossil fuels.
What do you hope to gain from this year’s Lindau meeting?
The meeting gives the opportunity to discuss recent developments in science and to debate about the challenges of the 21st century, such as global warming, for example. I’m very interested in the opinions of the Nobel laureates who have a big influence on current research. Of course, I’m also looking forward to meeting young, motivated scientists from all over the world with different skills and backgrounds. This will give me the chance to broaden my own horizon.
Are there any Nobelists whom you are particularly excited to meet?
Since electron transfer plays an important role in my research area, I’m looking forward to meeting Professor Rudolph A. Marcus, whose theory revolutionized our view of electron-transfer reactions. I’m also excited to meet Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, a pioneer in the field of supramolecular chemistry.
3. Banothile Makhubela
30 Under 30:
Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting
5. Anwen Krause-Heuer