The first students of the graduate school MatSEC (Materials for Solar Energy Conversion) have defended successfully their PhD thesis. The graduate school, which is organised jointly by Dahlem Research School of Freie Universität Berlin, is now open for new PhD-students. The research portfolio, which was focused on kesterites, does now include wide bandgap semiconductors and thermoelectrica as well.
MatSEC was the first graduate school, HZB had installed under the roof of Dahlem Research School and in cooperation with several universities in the region. „The graduate school MatSEC is to be continued, but with a much broader research field“, Prof. Dr. Susan Schorr, speaker of MatSEC explains. The organisators can rely on their cooperation with other research institutes and universities in Germany and have won international partners: the Weizmann-Institute of Science in Rehovot and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Young scientists can apply for PhD grants in MatSEC now.
In the summer term 2013 as well as the winter term 2013/2014 the first seven PhD students of the newly established graduate school MatSEC had started their PhD at the HZB. In December 2016 the first four students have finished: Anna Ritscher at the Technical University Berlin, Marcel Quennet and Laura Elisa Valle Rios as well as Kai Neldner at Freie Universität Berlin.
The young scientists focused their work on structure-function relations in kesterites, a quaternary compound semiconductor which can be used as absorber material in thin film solar cells. While Marcel Quennet dealed with first principle calculations, Anna Ritscher, Laura Elisa Valle Rios and Kai Neldner worked experimentally using also the instrumentation at HZB's two large scale facilities. All have already published their results in a number of papers. Further degrees are expected in spring: Leonard Köhler has already submitted his PhD thesis at the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, Anastasia Irkhina and Martin Handwerk are close to its completion.
Doctoral Studies at the HZB within Graduate Schools
The HZB currently offers graduate studies in four graduate schools in cooperation with universities in the region. The range of subject areas for the graduate schools focusses on researching various materials for the energy conversion. Graduates studies are fundamentally available for all of the research fields in which the HZB conducts research.
With the successive establishment of graduate schools, the HZB is implementing one of the main requirements of the Doctoral Studies Guidelines of the Helmholtz Association. In future, all of the doctoral studies at the HZB shall be based around organised graduate schools in conjunction with universities.