Chemist Maksym Kovalenko (tenured associate professor at the ETH Zürich, Switzerland) researches metal halides which emit light in response to the passage of an electric current or when excited optically. In his second ERC-funded project “SCALE-HALO”, he uses chemical engineering approaches to broadly tune the optical properties of these materials.
The aim is to develop various forms of non-toxic light sources, including nanocrystals, thin films and composites, for a wide range of applications. These could be employed in television displays, solar cells, photodetectors or detectors for radioactivity, or even future quantum communications technologies. Part of the research of the KovalenkoLab is related to batteries and light-emitting devices and is conducted at a sister ETH institution – Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology).
Maksym Kovalenko studied chemistry at the Chernivtsi National University (Ukraine), and then carried out his PhD research with professor Dr. Wolfgang Heiss at the Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria, where he gained his PhD in 2007.
Prof. Kovalenko won an ERC starting grant (2012) and Werner Prize (2016, see our June 2016 NL No. 4), amongst other awards. He was also included on the Clarivate’s list of Highly Cited Researchers 2018, due to his exceptional research performance, determined by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science.