Berlin Science Award: Young Talent Award for Steve Albrecht

The award ceremony in the dinosaur hall of the Natural History Museum in Berlin: Governing Mayor Michael Müller, Steve Albrecht and laudator Jürgen Mlynek. © Landesarchiv Berlin

Prof. Dr. Steve Albrecht was awarded by the Mayor of Berlin with the "Young Talent Award" (Nachwuchspreis) of the Berliner Wissenschaftspreis. © HZB/Michael Setzpfandt

On November 7, 2019, Michael Müller, Governing Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Science and Research, honoured outstanding research achievements for the twelfth time. Prof. Dr. Steve Albrecht was honoured this year with the "Nachwuchspreis" (Young Talent Award) for his research on novel tandem solar cells. Albrecht teaches as a junior professor at the Institute for High Frequency and Semiconductor System Technologies at the Technical University of Berlin and heads the research group "Perovskite Tandem Cells" at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. The Young Talent Award is given to scientists who are not older than 35 years and is endowed with 10,000 euros.

The award recognises innovative research approaches in a future-oriented field that offers Berlin particular benefits as a science and business location.

“We warmly congratulate Steve Albrecht on this award. He has already achieved enormous progress in photovoltaic research including record efficiency levels and patents through his creative approaches“, says Prof. Bernd Rech, Scientific Director of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

"The award is presented to a young scientist whose work on solar cells is advancing photovoltaic technology and directly building a bridge from research to application. Steve Albrecht is thus making a significant contribution to the energy transition. I congratulate him on his success," says Prof. Dr. Christian Thomsen, President of the Technical University of Berlin.

Albrecht is a junior professor at the Technische Universität Berlin and heads a Young Investigator Group focussed on perovskite tandem-solar-cell research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. These types of solar cells combine conventional semiconductors such as silicon or CIGS with novel semiconductors made of metal-halide perovskite compounds. The advantage: these tandem solar cells convert a larger portion of the solar spectrum into electrical energy and thus achieve considerably higher efficiencies.

Albrecht has just published a new world record for a tandem CIGS-perovskite solar cell that he developed and patented with his team. The group conducts their research at the Helmholtz HySPRINT Innovation Lab and is working closely with colleagues at the HZB PVcomB (Photovoltaic Competence Centre Berlin) to develop these experimental tandem cells into a more mature technology.

About the prize winner:

Steve Albrecht grew up in Potsdam, Germany. He studied physics at the University of Potsdam where he earned his doctorate with distinction. He was awarded the Carl Ramsauer Prize of the German Physical Society (DPG) and the Young Investigators Prize of the Leibniz-Kolleg Potsdam for his dissertation on organic solar cells. He came to the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin as a post-doctoral fellow in 2014. He has headed a Young Investigator Group funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since 2016 and has held a junior professorship at the Technische Universität Berlin, Faculty IV - Electrical Engineering since December 2018.

Steve Albrecht founded a family at an early age and remained in the Berlin-Brandenburg region for that reason. During his studies he worked as a stuntman at the Babelsberg film studio in action films like Inglorious Bastards and the Tribute von Panem. He was awarded the “Apple of Inspiration“ together with Prof. Bernd Rech and Dr. Marko Jost by the President of Slovenia in 2018. He received the Karl Scheel Prize from the Physikalische Gesellschaft zu Berlin physics association this year for his research.