© Alain Herzog / EPFL

30.08.13 - Michael Grätzel, known for his work on dye-sensitized solar cells, is the recipient of the 2013 Benoist prize.

The Marcel Benoist Foundation has announced that Michael Grätzel will receive its prestigious prize in a ceremony to be held on November 19, 2013. Michael Grätzel is a world-renowned scientist famous for his work on renewable sources of energy and photovoltaic solar cells. He has been cited over 100,000 times (h-index score: 153), making him one of the 10 most cited chemists in the world.

Michael Grätzel is especially known for his development of dye-sensitized solar cells, commonly referred to as Grätzel cells, which can convert sunlight into electricity by using a photoelectrochemical system. They offer transparency, low cost, and high power-conversion efficiencies under cloudy and artificial light conditions. In a recent high-profile publication, Grätzel cells were also shown to rival the efficiency of conventional silicon-based solar cells.

The Marcel Benoist prize has been awarded annually since 1920 to scientists working in Switzerland who have made, as stated in its founder’s testament, “the most useful scientific discovery or study, in particular in disciplines which are of significance for human life.” It is administered and awarded by the Marcel Benoist Foundation, and remains one of the highest distinctions of science in Switzerland.