ERC Grant for Next Generation Semiconductors from Technion Israel
Asst. Prof. Yehonadav Bekenstein of the Technion Department of Materials Science and Engineering has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant – a prestigious European grant for young academic faculty. With a total value of 677 million euros this year, the ERC grants are awarded as part of Horizon 2020, which is an innovation program within the European Union. The grants support brilliant young scientists in building winning research teams to conduct pioneering research.
Dr. Bekenstein received the grant for the development of halide perovskites materials. These special materials are characterized by high efficiency in energy conversion and are expected to revolutionize optoelectronic applications such as advanced detectors, solar energy, and even quantum communication. Unlike widely-used semiconductors (such as silicon and germanium), halide perovskites are only slightly affected by the presence of defects in the material, so they are effective in devices that require high efficiency. In a joint study with colleagues from Berkeley and Harvard, Dr. Bekenstein has already created perovskite nano-crystals in the form of dots, wires and plates. The control over the shape and dimensions of these materials determines the physical properties and enables their incorporation into devices for the benefit of man. The ERC funded study will focus on combinations of two-dimensional perovskites with other materials such as oxides and semiconductors to discover new functional properties.
Dr. Bekenstein completed his degrees in physics and chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, before joining the Technion faculty in 2018. Over the years, he has won numerous awards including the Käte and Franz Wiener Prize for excellence in a doctoral thesis, the prestigious Rothschild Scholarship for postdoctoral fellows, and the Alon Fellowship for supporting young scientists.