Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

android tablet pc

Home > Press > Software & Solar Power. Prize Money Boosts Research

Robust software systems for complex systems and efficient organic solar cells as the basis for CO2-neutral chemical energy storage - these two research areas were honoured today in Austria with the Wittgenstein Award. The Wittgenstein Award is Austria´s highest endowed and most prestigious science award, and has been presented annually since 1996. With their awards, computer scientist Thomas A. Henzinger and chemist Niyazi Serdar Sariciftci both now have the possibility of investing up to EUR 1.5 million in their research over five years, guaranteeing the two award winners top status internationally, as well as ensuring further progress in their fields of research.

Software & Solar Power. Prize Money Boosts Research

Vienna, Austria | Posted on June 12th, 2012

Computers operate on the basis of mathematical laws, and as such their behaviour is predictable. Or one would think. In fact, malfunctions regularly occur, which can have serious consequences for important systems. When testing systems, the current state of the art continues to be the test run. Thomas A. Henzinger, president of the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria, has been working for over ten years to change that. Now, Henzinger has been honoured for his vital work with Austria´s most highly endowed science prize: the Wittgenstein Award, which is worth up to EUR 1.5 million and is awarded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF.

For Henzinger, performing software test runs is the same as if a bridge engineer tested the sturdiness of his structure by walking on it - and not by static calculations prior to construction. The problem with such test runs is that they only represent one situation, and cannot represent all possible situations. While numerous test runs under different conditions improve the level of information, for modern software with numerous parallel processes the number of possibilities grows dramatically, and test runs cease to be a practically viable solution. This is not only unsatisfactory: for software of vital importance, it can have dramatic consequences. Thus, Henzinger and his team are working to develop basic mathematical models for process control software. To this effect, they employ methods of formal logic and mathematical theories for the modelling and analysis of discrete dynamic systems. Henzinger also works with an interdisciplinary approach to further develop methods for modelling software so that the methods can be used to analyse processes in living cells and organs. The ultimate goal of this line of research is to map a complete organism in software.

The second Wittgenstein Award this year was granted to Niyazi Serdar Sariciftci, professor of physical chemistry at Johannes Kepler University in Linz. Twenty years after his groundbreaking publication in SCIENCE, Sariciftci remains one of the world´s most renowned experts in the development of organic solar cells. At the time, Sariciftci demonstrated photo-induced ultra-fast electron transfer of organic semiconductor polymers onto so-called fullerenes, i.e. spherical molecules of carbon atoms. Along with this discovery, Sariciftci also developed two possible designs for solar cells. On the one hand, a variant which consists of two thin, superposed layers of organic charge donors and acceptors and, on the other, a variant in which the donors and acceptors are mixed, which maximises their interfaces with each other ("bulk heterojunction"). Both types of solar cells work on the same principle as silicon-based cells - light energy leads to a charge separation, which can be used as an electrical current - but they are much less expensive to produce and - in the truest sense of the word - are flexible in use. In addition, chemically they can be easily adapted to new requirements.

Currently, Sariciftci and his team are working not only to further increase the efficiency of organic solar cells, but also to improve their environmental friendliness. For the scientist, environmentally-friendly and biodegradable source materials are essential components of sustainable energy production. This is the objective of an additional focus of his efforts: the storage of solar-generated energy. For just as with wind energy, the availability of solar energy also fluctuates. However, the efficient storage - and renewed availability - of energy is not only a formidable scientific challenge per se, but must also take into account user behaviour and infrastructure. Consequently, Sariciftci and his team are working on the conversion of solar energy into chemical fuel. This is to be based on hydrocarbons and thus usable in the same manner as petroleum products. In addition, the carbon dioxide required for the chemical fuel is to be extracted from the air and waste gases, making the resulting fuel CO2-neutral. The Wittgenstein Award granted to Sariciftci guarantees the continuation of this groundbreaking sustainability research with additional financial resources.


For more information, please click here

Austrian Science Fund FWF:
Mag. Stefan Bernhardt
Haus der Forschung
Sensengasse 1
1090 Vienna, Austria
T +43 / (0)1 / 505 67 40 - 8111


Copy Editing & Distribution:
PR&D - Public Relations for Research & Education
Mariannengasse 8
1090 Vienna, Austria
T +43 / (0)1 / 505 70 44


Copyright © Austrian Science Fund FWF

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin April 18th, 2014

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair April 18th, 2014

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Introduces the MFP-3D InfinityTM AFM Featuring Powerful New Capabilities and Stunning High Performance April 18th, 2014

Conductive Inks: booming to $2.8 billion by 2024 April 17th, 2014


Effects of Carbon Nanotubes Studied on Pregnant Mothers April 12th, 2014

Nanotech Business Review 2013-2014 April 9th, 2014

Scientists Succeed in Simultaneous Determination of Acetaminophen, Codeine in Drug Samples April 9th, 2014

Rebar technique strengthens case for graphene: Rice University lab makes hybrid nanotube-graphene material that promises to simplify manufacturing April 7th, 2014


'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin April 18th, 2014

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair April 18th, 2014

Thinnest feasible membrane produced April 17th, 2014

More effective kidney stone treatment, from the macroscopic to the nanoscale April 17th, 2014


'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin April 18th, 2014

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair April 18th, 2014

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Introduces the MFP-3D InfinityTM AFM Featuring Powerful New Capabilities and Stunning High Performance April 18th, 2014

Transparent Conductive Films and Sensors Are Hot Segments in Printed Electronics: Start-ups in these fields show above-average momentum, while companies working on emissive displays such as OLED are fading, Lux Research says April 17th, 2014


Energy Research Facility Construction Project at Brookhaven Lab Wins U.S. Energy Secretary's Achievement Award April 16th, 2014

IDTechEx Printed Electronics Europe 2014 Award Winners April 1st, 2014

Dais Analytic Wins SBIR Grant: Dais Analytic Receives US Army Small Business Innovation Research Grant to Further Its Demonstrated Successes in Cleaning Most Forms of Wastewater March 28th, 2014

Scientists develop world’s first light-activated antimicrobial surface that also works in the dark March 24th, 2014


High-temperature plasmonics eyed for solar, computer innovation April 17th, 2014

A molecular approach to solar power: Switchable material could harness the power of the sun — even when it’s not shining April 15th, 2014

Shiny quantum dots brighten future of solar cells: Photovoltaic solar-panel windows could be next for your house April 14th, 2014

Scientists open door to better solar cells, superconductors and hard-drives: Research enhances understanding of materials interfaces April 14th, 2014

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project

© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE