Daria Gorelova starts her professorship of physics

Daria Gorelova takes up the post of a newly created Assistant Professorship with the focus on “Seeing excitons in motion” at the University of Hamburg starting from 1 April 2020. The physicist, who received the Freigeist Fellowship of the Volkswagen Foundation with a funding of 1.2 mio EUR for a period of 6 years, will continue her research work in Hamburg as independent head of her own research group.

Daria Gorelova. Credit: University of Hamburg, Ohme

When a semiconductor interacts with light, an electron can be brought to a higher energy level leaving a positive charge behind. The electron can attract to this charge and build a bound pair called an exciton. Excitons move through a semiconductor and transport the absorbed light energy to a juncture to produce electrical current.

Daria and her team will explore possibilities to follow this movement with the special X-ray light that can be generated by free-electron lasers such as the European XFEL in Hamburg. The methods to watch exciton dynamics in real time at atomic scale will enable the observation and the control of mechanisms that launch solar energy conversion.

With her call the University of Hamburg continues to support young female researchers. At the same time the Professorship supports the university’s and faculty’s focus on research of photon and nano sciences in laser and quantum physics, nanochemistry and biophysics.


Prof. Dr. Daria Gorelova

Prof. Dr. Daria Gorelova studied physics and applied mathematics at the Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology. She did the doctorate at the Research Center J├╝lich and defended her thesis at the RWTH Aachen. Starting 2013 she worked at CFEL as a postdoctoral researcher in the theory group of Prof. Dr. Robin Santra. In 2019 Daria received the Freigeist Fellowship of the Volkswagen Foundation and is now group leader of her independent research team at the University of Hamburg.