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Institute of Organic Chemistry

Indian Scientist Gives Second Dr. Reich Lecture


Professor Mahesh Hariharan from India came to Würzburg for the Dr. Reich Lecture, financed by the Tauber-Dr. Reich Foundation. This lecture series was opened last year with a talk delivered by Ron Naaman.

Prof. Mahesh Hariharan and Prof. Christoph Lambert with the certificate
Prof. Mahesh Hariharan and Prof. Christoph Lambert with the certificate (Image: C. Stadler)

Prof. Hariharan impressed his audience with a lecture on symmetry-breaking charge separation in small molecular aggregates. It has been known for a long time that the optical and electronic properties of such aggregates depend strongly on the mutual orientation of the individual building blocks and often differ greatly from the properties of the monomers. Hariharan and his team therefore searched for an arrangement in which these properties of the aggregates should differ as little as possible from those of the monomers and found synthetic access to a geometry in which the monomeric building blocks are arranged above each other at a 90° angle. Because of their shape, they call these aggregates "Greek Cross (+) Aggregates", which was also the title of the Dr. Reich Lecture on February 9, 2024.

Using the example of perylene diimides dyes arranged in such a cross-shape, Prof. Hariharan showed in his lecture that the optical properties of the aggregates are almost identical to those of the monomers, with selective hole transport being predicted for the charge transfer processes. The findings are of great importance for the development of optoelectronic materials such as organic semiconductors for solar cells.

Plans for Intensified Collaboration

Prof. Hariharan conducts research at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Thiravananthapuram (IISER TVM) on charge transfer in small molecular aggregates using preparative and time-resolved spectroscopic methods. Hariharan's intensive networking with various research groups in Würzburg is also reflected by the recent application for an international research training group (IRTG) which is intended to promote scientific collaboration between the University of Würzburg and IISER TVM.

Information about the foundation: Tauber Dr. Reich Foundation

Additional images

By M. Moos, C. Stadler