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Rico Friedrich Receives Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship

Prestigious German award will support work in computing the formation of new semiconductor and insulator materials

Rico FriedrichRico Friedrich, a postdoctoral research associate at Duke University, has been chosen to receive a Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt foundation. 

The Fellowship will support Friedrich’s research for one year in the laboratory of Stefano Curtarolo, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, electrical and computer engineering, physics, and chemistry at Duke. His work focuses on determining the formation energies of semiconductor and insulator materials, which are challenging to accurately calculate with current level of theory in computational materials science.

The formation energy is a measure of how stable a certain material is and how likely it is to decompose into other materials, and is crucial for reliably predicting the existence of new materials. Relatedly, Friedrich also works on the electronic properties of disordered materials, which have the potential to revolutionize industries such as aerospace technology.

Among the most prestigious fellowships granted by German foundations, the Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship supports German scientists who wish to conduct a research project abroad. The program is meant to promote academic contacts that often endure well beyond the research stay and is considered particularly valuable by former fellows.

To be eligible, applicants must be working with an academic host from one of the 15,000 people in the Humboldt Network. Professor Curtarolo became part of this network when he received the Bessel Prize from the Humboldt Foundation in 2016.