Cutting-edge PSE Division science on display at this year’s Nobel Laureate Meeting

19 June, 2022

Approximately 40 Nobel laureates and 611 highly accomplished young scientists from 91 countries will soon gather in the small German town and island of Lindau for the 71st Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. From June 26 to July 1, 2022, attendees will meet for a week of multidisciplinary, cross-generational exchange of ideas and research. As well as engaging with the young scientists in attendance, the laureates will present their research findings and reflect on their careers.
Alongside KAUST Ph.D. candidate Mram Alyami, the KAUST PSE Division will be represented at this year’s event by research scientist Dr. Jan Kosco and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Luis Lanzetta

“Attending the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting is a unique opportunity to learn from the collective wisdom of a large and diverse group of exceptional scientists. I would particularly like to discuss strategies for combating climate change with the Nobel Laureates and other young scientists to hear their opinions on what they think are the most promising technologies and research directions to focus on going forward,” Kosco said.
“I believe the Lindau Meeting is an exceptional opportunity to meet not only Nobel laureates, but also many other extremely talented scientists. It is a great chance to network with other young scientists that also want to make an impact. I am excited and looking forward to meeting an international community of researchers and exchanging ideas,” Lanzetta emphasized. 
Expanding on what we know 
Dr. Kosco is a research scientist based in the KAUST Solar Center. His research focuses on developing new semiconductor photocatalysts to produce green hydrogen from water using solar energy. 
Almost all current photocatalysts are predominantly active under UV wavelengths, which carry less than five percent of solar energy, greatly limiting their overall efficiency. Kosco’s research aims to counter these limitations by increasing the efficiency of solar hydrogen generation through the design of photocatalysts that are active under a broad range of UV-visible-infrared light. 
His future research points to the continued development of photocatalysts for other solar fuel applications, such as the generation of synthetic hydrocarbons from CO2 and water. 
Lanzetta is a postdoctoral fellow based in Professor Derya Baran’s Organic/Hybrid Materials for Energy Applications (OMEGA) Lab. His research examines the properties of perovskite materials and their use in optoelectronic applications, such as solar cells. Specifically, his interests include tin perovskites, perovskite doping and the degradation studies of solar cells and light-emitting diodes.
The core of Lanzetta’s research focuses on modulating the electronic properties of perovskite materials by using molecular dopants. He is particularly interested in understanding the chemical interactions between dopants and perovskite that govern this process. The ability to manipulate these properties in perovskites will enable their optimal implementation as low-cost semiconductors in next-generation electronic devices.
Contributing to a better tomorrow 
Since he was young, Lanzetta has always been curious about the world and intrigued by how it works. As a result of the nurturing environment created by his family and teachers, he developed the nascent curiosity that served as the springboard for his early forays into science. The “eureka moment” that led Lanzetta to decide that he wanted to become a researcher was when he participated in a local research program for high school students in his hometown of Tarragona, Spain. 
“During the program, I spent time with other students that shared the same passion I had for science. I relished the opportunity to meet like-minded people, and the mentoring I received in this activity was vital for my next steps as a scientist.”  
As he looks to the future, Lanzetta hopes to advance our knowledge of innovative approaches to harvesting and harnessing energy-harvesting materials and their use as clean energy sources.
“I hope my work positively impacts society by promoting awareness of global issues and critical thinking. Among my future goals, I am working to establish an independent research career.”
As for Kosco, he has always been interested in the potential of science and technology to create a lasting positive impact: “I never planned on becoming a researcher, but I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to follow my interests, which led me to where I am today.”
“I hope that my research will advance the transition to renewable energy. In the future, I would like to continue developing photocatalysts for other solar fuel applications, such as the generation of synthetic hydrocarbons from CO2 and water.”
In Lindau, both researchers should find a fertile space to exchange ideas, discuss strategies, and forge global collaborations with their peers as they continue to develop research that moves both the Kingdom and the world forward.