Maarja Grossberg and Jüri Krustok received the Estonian National Research award in the field of technical sciences. The scientists were recognized for their work with the optical spectroscopy of new 2D and 3D multiple semiconductors.
Maarja Grossberg explained: "We research the optical and electrical properties of new materials, mainly those aimed at solar energy applications. These properties determine the suitability and capability of the materials for those applications. Among these materials are environmentally friendly compound semiconductor materials and new-generation two-dimensional graphene-like materials with very special properties. The latter consist of only a few atomic layers."
Jüri Krustok added: "Our research has resulted in valuable information on the fundamental properties of new materials, helping to develop new technologies based on these materials."
The laureates' research focuses on the capability of environmentally friendly compound semiconductor materials to convert light energy into electricity using different methods of optical spectroscopy. The properties of semiconductor materials are largely determined by the defects contained in them. The laureates are committed to identifying them and researching the effects of these defects. Throughout their research, they have developed the traditional physics of compound semiconductor materials and proposed several new materials for future optoelectronics.
Professor Maarja Grossberg is the Head of the Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials Physics at TalTech's Department of Material and Environmental Technology. Last year, she received a grant from the prestigious L’Oréal Baltic-UNESCO program "For Women in Science".
The topics of her research are the physics of semiconductors, the defect structure of semiconductor materials, and elements of the Sun. Grossberg is also a founding member of the Estonian Young Academy of Sciences, her doctoral thesis was supervised by Jüri Krustok.
Jüri Krustok is a professor of the Department of Cybernetics in the School of Science. He received a National Research Award in the field of technical sciences in 1998 as part of a collective: "Semiconductor materials for solar energy and optoelectronics". The topic of his research is the physics of semiconductors.
Grossberg and Krustok received the research award for the best research done and published in the last four years, i.e. 2017-2020, according to the statute of the National Research Awards.