ERC Starting Grant for Prince Ravat

We live in the age of miniaturization. The goal: to build even smaller and more efficient optical, electronic and mechanical devices. Accordingly, there is also a growing demand for multifunctional materials capable of responding to several external stimuli at the same time.

Dr. Prince Ravat, research group leader at the Institute for Organic Chemistry at Julius-Maximilians-University (JMU) Würzburg, takes up this challenge. He now benefits from first-rate support for his project: the European Research Council (ERC) awarded him a Starting Grant of 1.5 million euros. This grant is awarded as part of a European competition to outstanding young researchers. The project funded by this grant is expected to start within the next six months and is designed to last five years.

Design, synthesize and test materials

JMU chemists want to take advantage of chirality. Property of molecules related to their symmetry. The introduction of chirality into functional materials gives them unique properties such as absorption and emission of circularly polarized light and spin-selective charge transport. As a result, materials with entirely new functions can be designed.

“As synthetic chemists, we are interested in the development of new molecules with specific applications. In this project, we will design and synthesize new functional chiral materials and then test their optoelectronic and charge transport properties,” explains Ravat.

The goal of the JMU team here is to develop chiral organic semiconductors that utilize both charge and spin (self-rotation) of charge carriers. These are important for the development of next-generation optoelectronics, such as spin LEDs, 3D displays and quantum optical computing. Regular organic semiconductors are already developed and well known, but research on chiral organic semiconductors is still in its infancy.

Career of the ERC laureate

Prince Ravat, born in 1986 in Vadodara (India), studied chemistry at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (Vadodara, India). He then worked at the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune (India) and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, where he obtained his doctorate summa cum laude in 2014. He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Basel (Switzerland) and University of Tokyo (Japan).

In 2018, Ravat joined JMU within the “Excellent Ideas Programme” and has since been responsible for a research group at the Institute of Organic Chemistry. During his career he has already received numerous awards and fellowships – most recently the Thieme Chemistry Journals Award 2022 and acceptance into the Emil Fischer Fellowship Program in 2021.

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