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Figuring out light

On 1 January 2018 a new International Junior Research Group started at the University of Bayreuth. Dr. Linn Leppert is the leader of this group. The physicist has only just returned back to Germany from a research residence at the University of California in Berkeley. Her International Junior Research Group is linked to the Elite Graduate Program “Biological Physics”.

Conducting research to convert energy

Linn Lep­pert inves­ti­gates a fun­damental bio­logi­cal phe­no­men­on: pho­tosyn­thesis, the pro­cess in which plants and bacte­ria con­vert the ener­gy pro­vided by light into chem­ical ener­gy. As a physi­cist she is inter­ested in the un­derly­ing quan­tum me­chani­cal pro­cess­es. The goal of her Inter­na­tional Junior Re­search Group “Elec­tronic exci­ta­tions in light-convert­ing sys­tems” is to gain in­sight into the ener­getics and the trans­fer of elec­trons excit­ed by sun­light. A de­tailed un­der­stand­ing of these prin­ciples is an im­portant pre­requi­site for de­velop­ing and im­prov­ing tech­nolo­gies that use sun­light as an ener­gy source, e.g. pho­tovol­taics. Linn Lep­pert be­lieves that “It is an excit­ing vision to use con­cepts taken from the field of biolo­gy and apply it to solar cells”.

Linn Lep­pert re­turns to the Uni­versi­ty of Bay­reuth where she had al­ready worked as a post­doc after gain­ing her PhD in theo­retical phys­ics in 2013. From 2015 to 2017 she took on a re­search resi­dence at the Uni­versi­ty of Cali­for­nia, Berkeley, USA, fund­ed by the Alex­ander von Hum­boldt Founda­tion.

Interdisciplinary network

The International Junior Research Group is well connected to the re­search community of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bayreuth. Her research group is linked to the Elite Graduate Program “Biological Physics”, which aims at an inter­disciplinary edu­ca­tion of ex­cellent students of biology, physics and bio­che­mi­stry. In ad­di­tion to lea­ding the International Junior Re­search Group, Linn Leppert is also member of the Col­la­bo­ra­ti­ve Re­search Centre in Bay­reuth “From Par­ti­cu­la­te Nano­systems to Meso­tech­no­lo­gy”.

The Elite Network of Bavaria offers ideal conditions to conduct my interdisciplinary research”, says Dr. Linn Leppert, head of the International Junior Research Group “Electronic excitations in light-converting systems.

Dr. Linn Leppert