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Dr Elizabeth von Hauff (1977) has been named professor by special appointment of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics in Energy Conversion at the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The chair was established on behalf of the Beta Plus foundation.

Elizabeth von Hauff (photo: Kirsten van Santen)
Elizabeth von Hauff (photo: Kirsten van Santen)

Von Hauff works in the field of solar energy. Her research is focussed on fundamental questions at the interface between physics and chemistry. As professor by special appointment at the UvA, she will focus on the role of dynamic processes at the functional interfaces in energy conversion. The chair is embedded in the UvA’s Molecular Photonics research group of the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) and Von Hauff will be active in the research priority area Sustainable Chemistry.

Energy conversion and dynamics

Recent results from theoretical physics indicate that dynamics are a fundamental ingredient in energy conversion devices. However, dedicated experimental work is required to observe these elusive signatures and correlate them with the macroscopic properties of solar cells. New insights into solar energy conversion can help guide researchers in developing efficient new materials and solar cell architectures.

A lot of collaborative work is being done on solar energy research in Amsterdam, with groups at the UvA (HIMS and Institute of Physics), VU Amsterdam and AMOLF all active in this interdisciplinary field. Both inside and outside of HIMS, Von Hauff will facilitate and strengthen collaboration on the research theme Molecular Photonics.

Von Hauff will also contribute to the education programmes for Bachelor’s and Master’s students. She is already active in the joint education programme of the UvA and VU Amsterdam, and within the framework of the Chair will work with colleagues to develop and teach courses focussed on energy conversion and solar energy technologies.

About Elizabeth von Hauff

Von Hauff is originally from Canada, and she studied Physics at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. She moved to the University of Oldenburg for her PhD (2005). After working as a senior researcher, she completed her Habilitation in 2011. Subsequently, she held a joint appointment as associate professor in Solar Energy between the Institute of Physics at the University of Freiburg and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE). Since 2013, von Hauff has been an associate professor of Physics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She is an associate editor for the Journal of Materials Chemistry C from the Royal Society of Chemistry.