Michael Grätzel: Honorary doctorate from City University of Hong Kong

Michael Grätzel. Credit: Alain Herzog (EPFL)

Michael Grätzel. Credit: Alain Herzog (EPFL)

Professor Michael Grätzel at EPFL’s School of Basic Sciences has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the City University of Hong Kong.

One of the most important researchers in chemistry of our time, Professor Michael Grätzel received an honorary doctorate from the City University of Hong Kong (CityU), located in the heart of Hong Kong.

The CityU official announcement reads: “Professor Michael Graetzel… will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science. He is a physical chemist who has pioneered research on energy and electron transfer reactions in mesoscopic systems, and their use to generate electricity and chemical fuels from sunlight.”

About Professor Michael Grätzel

Professor Grätzel is world-renowned for inventing the first dye-sensitive solar cell in 1991 with chemist Brian O’Reagan. Just as plants use chlorophyll to turn sunlight into energy, the “Grätzel cells” use industrial dyes, pigments or quantum dots stimulated by sunlight to transmit an electrical charge. Within fifteen years of the original invention, Grätzel evolved the cells into an applied technology that is now being developed in universities and companies worldwide.

Having discovered molecular photovoltaics, Grätzel’s research has focused on designing mesoscopic photosystems based on molecular light harvesters that convert light very efficiently to electricity. He is credited with moving the photovoltaic field beyond the principle of light absorption via diodes to the molecular level. Recently his research engendered a second revolution in photovoltaics prompting the advent of perovskite solar cells. In just a single decade, their power-conversion efficiency increased from 3% to over 26%, rivaling and even exceeding the performance of conventional photovoltaics.

Grätzel also applied his innovative mesoscopic design concept to enhance the power of lithium-ion batteries and to create photoelectrochemical cells that efficiently generate chemical fuels from sunlight, opening up a new path to provide future sources of renewable energy that can be stored.

Grätzel currently directs EPFL’s Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces within the Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering (ISIC). His 1,750 publications have received over 467,000 citations and have an h-index of 296. In 2019, Stanford University ranked Grätzel first of 100,000 top scientists across all fields. According to the Web of Science, he is presently the most highly cited chemist in the world.

Read more about Professor Michael Grätzel