CZS Nexus Grant for Dr. Anna Rosławska

September 04, 2023

Dr. Anna Rosławska, Group Leader at the Nanoscale Science Department at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, has been awarded the CZS Nexus 1.5 million € grant from the Carl Zeiss Foundation to pursue a research line focusing on studying light-harvesting mechanisms with atomic-scale precision. She will establish an interdisciplinary research team using scanning tunneling microscopy to probe the optical properties of natural and artificial molecular systems with sub-nm resolution.

“Light harvesting and photosynthesis are examples of everyday mechanisms that rely on the interaction between light and matter. Usually, such phenomena are studied using conventional microscopy solutions that provide only spatially averaged information involving many individual molecular systems. This limitation prevents us from understanding how the atomic-scale environment of each molecule, their precise spatial arrangement and so on affect the efficiency of light harvesting, both in natural and artificial systems. In the next 5 years, we will tackle these questions with sub-nm precision using a unique combination of scanning tunneling microscopy with optical methods. Taking inspiration from natural molecular architectures, we will learn new strategies to design nanostructures for better light harvesting” says Dr. Rosławska.

In recent years, Dr. Rosławska has already made important contributions to the field of atomic-scale optics. During her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, she explored how charges are injected into molecular materials to generate photon emission, and how atomic-scale systems can act as quantum light sources. During her post-doc at the Institut de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg in France, she studied basic physical mechanisms that establish key steps in the photosynthesis process: light absorption and energy transfer between individual molecules.

The research group of Dr. Rosławska is hosted at the Nanoscale Science Department directed by Prof. Klaus Kern. The extensive Department’s infrastructure and experience in scanning probe microscopy, optical methods, and handling fragile biomolecular systems will support this research project.

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