Patrik Schmuki has won the prestigious Heinz Gerischer Prize

Patrik Schmuki, a world-renowned expert in the field of electrochemistry and one of CATRIN’s most accomplished scientists, has been awarded the prestigious Heinz Gerischer Prize. Since 2001, the award has been presented by the Electrochemical Society to scientists who have made significant contributions to the science of semiconductor electrochemistry and photoelectrochemistry, including the related fields of physical and materials chemistry.

“It is truly a great honour for me. This is one of the most important awards I have ever received. The list of previous laureates includes real scientific leaders in the field of electrochemistry, be it Professors Allen Bard, Michael Grätzel or Akira Fujishima. The award has therefore placed me among the best in our field,” said Patrik Schmuki, among others a recipient of the Natta Award 2020.

The award recognizes his lifelong contribution to the field of electrochemistry and photoelectrochemistry, from work on the preparation of titanium dioxide nanotubes and their use in photocatalysis to the application of single-atom engineering, and reflects his research at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg as well as at CATRIN. In Olomouc, he has established the Photoelectrochemistry research group and was, among other things, the key figure in the project Advanced Hybrid Nanostructures for Renewable Energy Applications from the Operational Programme Research, Development and Education, which focused on the production of hydrogen as a fuel of the future by photocatalytic decomposition of water using titanium dioxide in the form of nanotubes. He is currently the principal investigator of the EXPRO project. He has received almost 50 million CZK in support for his research on single-atom 2D photocatalysts.

“In the EXPRO project we have returned to the use of platinum as a co-catalyst. Although platinum is an expensive material, entire teams have been trying to find a suitable substitute for it over the years. But we can use atomic-level engineering to reduce the amount of platinum very dramatically, and thus significantly reduce the financial cost. At the same time, we are multiplying the activity of the photocatalyst we produce – titanium dioxide,” said Schmuki.

The award, given to individuals or small research teams, is named after the “father” of semiconductur electrochemistry Heinz Gerischer who established the fundamentals of semiconductor electrodes and electrode kinetics. His work laid the foundations for the mechanistic interpretation of electrochemical reactions and paved the way of our current understanding of electrode enetgetics and kinetics.