Young scientist prize

Dr Hodgkiss wins young scientist prize

Dr Justin Hodgkiss, senior lecturer in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, travelled to Osaka earlier this month to receive the young scientist prize from the Asian and Oceanian photochemical association at their seventh international conference.

The prize is awarded to scientists under the age of 40 in the field of photochemistry–the study of materials that react with light.

Nearly 300 photochemists from around the world attended the conference in Osaka this year. The conference is held every two years, the last one taking place here in Wellington in 2010.

The citation of Dr Hodgkiss‘ prize was for 'excellent contributions to time-resolved spectroscopy of photocurrent generation processes in organic photovoltaic cells'. The prize recognizes a number of important recent studies that use extremely short laser pulses to examine how new generation solar cells convert light to electricity, thereby guiding the design of better materials.

Dr Hodgkiss and his team continue to develop new laser-based tools for studying solar cells and other materials that react with light. The work is central to the Rutherford Discovery Fellowship Dr Hodgkiss was awarded in 2011 and uses the new ultrafast laser facility housed in the Alan MacDiarmid building.