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Dr Tomáš Šolomek has been appointed as tenure track researcher in the Molecular Photonics group of the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS). His research focuses on how the topology of organic molecules affects their optoelectronic properties, and on understanding the reactivity of compounds that can be activated by light. His research will be relevant to applications in solar energy conversion and catalysis, and can lead to novel sensors, biological probes, and drug-delivery systems.

Dr Tomáš Šolomek. Photo: HIMS.

In his research, Šolomek aims to improve the design of more efficient and sustainable organic optoelectronic materials. To accomplish this, he blends the synthesis of organic molecules with the use of spectroscopy and computational chemistry. Building upon the state-of-the-art spectroscopy and synthesis facilities of the HIMS institute, the Šolomek group hopes to nourish and exploit the mutual synergies of photochemistry with the institute’s other research themes. Collaborations with several other groups at the UvA, VU Amsterdam and beyond are also foreseen.

ERC Starting grant and SNF Ambizione awardee

Prior to his tenure track appointment as an assistant professor at HIMS, Dr Šolomek was a non-tenure track assistant professor at the University of Bern, Switzerland. There, his team worked on the stable molecular representations of topologically complex carbon nanostructures, funded through his ERC Starting grant TOPOCLIP (2021). Before that, he founded his independent research group at the University of Basel, Switzerland as a fellow of the Ambizione program of the Swiss National Science Foundation (2018), exploring porous covalent organic cages with built-in photo- and redox-active units. These compounds help to understand the effect of charge delocalization and electronic coupling on charge transfer/transport in functional porous materials.

Dr. Tomáš Šolomek obtained his Bachelor and Master’s degrees at the Masaryk University, Czechia, in organic photochemistry. In 2014, he obtained his PhD degree in chemistry under co-tutorship at the Masaryk University and the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, combining experiments and theory to understand the nature of reactive intermediates generated by light or heat. He then became an Experientia Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the University of Basel. From 2015-2017, he was a Swiss National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University (USA).

See also