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New experimental research group "Ultrafast dynamics in nanomaterials" headed by Prof. Dr. Hélène Seiler

Prof. Dr. Hélène Seiler

Prof. Dr. Hélène Seiler
Image Credit: Portraitmacher

Warm welcome to Dr. Hélène Seiler who has accepted a W1-W2 tenure track position at the Freie Universität Berlin. The new research group will focus on the development and use of ultrafast methods to characterize nanomaterials of relevance for devices such as solar cells, LEDs and lasers.

News from Nov 08, 2022

At the Freie Universität Berlin, the new research group will set up what is called a coherent multi-dimensional spectrometer to probe the electronic structure and dynamics of nanoscale materials. These can consist of 2D materials, nanotubes, or quantum dots for example. "It’s a pretty sophisticated instrument which employs a series of phase-locked ultrashort laser pulses as short as 10 femtoseconds (10-14 seconds)", Prof. Dr. Hélène Seiler explains.

This type of instrument is especially well suited to investigate how the optical response of nanomaterials is influenced by quantum confinement effects, and it is a sensitive probe of certain quasiparticles such as excitons, polarons or polaritons.

"We do fundamental science, so our aim is to understand how things work at the microscopic level. But the broader motivation of our work is that we think this fundamental understanding may help design better materials for various applications".

Research Group Seiler

About Prof. Dr. Hélène Seiler

Hélène Seiler studied physics at EPFL in Lausanne from 2006-2011. She then pursued a 6-month internship at the Swiss Embassy in Beijing, working on climate change issues. Following that, she undertook a second masters in Environmental Policy at the London School of Economics.

Missing the hard sciences too much, she went on to carry out her PhD in physical chemistry at McGill University in Canada from 2013 to 2018, where she developed a multi-dimensional spectrometer similar to the one which will be built at the Freie Universität Berlin. There, she investigated semiconductor quantum dots and perovskite nanostructures.

From 2018 until now, she worked at the Fritz Haber Institute for her postdoc in the physical chemistry department, using femtosecond electron diffraction to investigate the structural dynamics in 2D materials, molecular crystals and perovskite nanocrystals.

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  • Hélène Seiler
  • nanomaterials
  • new research group
  • Ultrafast Dynamics in Nanomaterials