Young scientist award for Oliver Supplie

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kristallzüchtung und Kristallwachstum (DGKK) presented Oliver Supplie with the DGKK Young Scientist Award on 16 March 2016. Supplie works at the TU Ilmenau and at the HZB, and accepted the prize worth 2,500 euros during the “1st German Czechoslovak Conference on Crystal Growth”. The DGKK awarded the prize in recognition of Oliver Supplie’s outstanding work in improving our understanding of interfaces between III-V semiconductors and silicon. This is of great importance for producing high efficiency components, for example.

Oliver Supplie did his doctoral thesis on interfaces between III-V semiconductors and silicon, and studied the growth of diluted nitrogenous gallium phosphide layers. Due to their optimal band gap energies, such semiconductor compounds – combined with silicon as an active substrate – make for an excellent tandem absorber structure for photovoltaics and for direct splitting of water by sunlight (photoelectrolysis).

“With this work, we have greatly contributed towards resolving the atomic structure of these interfaces. This is important, among other things, for producing future high efficiency electronic components. We were also able to show that the structure of the interface and properties of the subsequently grown semiconductor layers can be targetedly modified during the production process. This process is also highly controllable in situ using optical spectroscopy,” Supplie explains.

Oliver Supplie stresses how important it was to share information with collaboration partners and his workgroup: “We are conducting extremely interdisciplinary surface and interface physics, with major interfaces with materials science, chemistry and electrochemistry. Close collaboration with colleagues and mutual learning from one another is indispensable. I had the privilege of working with excellent scientists, students and technicians in the team.” Collaboration with colleague theoreticians also proved extremely fruitful.

Oliver Supplie currently works as a postdoc at the TU Ilmenau and is researching in the scope of a cooperation agreement at the HZB Institute for Solar Fuels. "Roel van de Krol always actively supported our work and made sure it was an inspiring and successful time in Wannsee,” Supplie concludes.