Pelayo wide view

Clean Planet group leader awarded National Young Research Award

ICFO Prof. F. Pelayo García de Arquer named recipient of award in the area of Physical Sciences of Materials and the Earth

October 2, 2023

In an announcement on Friday, 22 September, the acting Minister of Science and Innovation of the Government of Spain, Diana Morant, announced the winners of the 2023 National Research Awards, the country’s most important recognition in the field of scientific research. The Minister emphasized that these awards value scientists who, with their work, contribute to the advancement of science and therefore to society having a better life. The National Research Awards distinguish those researchers in Spain who stand out for their career and international relevance in their respective areas of research. They also recognize the merit of researchers 40 years of age or younger who have accomplished relevant achievements in the early stages of their careers.

ICFO Prof. F. Pelayo García de Arquer, leader of the CO2 Mitigation Accelerated by Photons research group, was awarded the ‘Felisa Martín Bravo’ National Research Prize for Young researchers, in the area of Physics, Materials and Earth Sciences, for his pioneering and interdisciplinary contributions to the fields with relevant applications in the generation of clean energy and the development of optoelectronic elements. The award cites his contributions to the manipulation of nanostructured materials, controlling their structural, physicochemical, optical and electronic properties, which have opened new approaches to the design of highly efficient solar cells, photodetectors and light-emitting diodes.

Prof. García de Arquer, the youngest Clarivate highly-cited research in Spain in his field, carried out his studies in Spain and Belgium, received his doctoral degree in Spain which he followed with postdoctoral training in Canada.  He returned to Spain in 2021 and since that time  has maintained the applied vision and international collaborations of his research in the fight against climate change, with scientific and technological advances that have given rise to several patents, seven of which are under exploitation, and a long list of projects with companies. He has obtained  highly competitive funding for his research including an ERC Starting Grant (2023), a Ramón Areces (2023),  Leonardo grant (BBVA foundation, 2022), La Caixa Junior Leader (2021), and several important awards, including young researcher in experimental physics, RSEF (2021).

“I am deeply honored to receive this important distinction – a testament of the work of many people,” comments García de Arquer.  “I would like to thank my mentors, colleagues, and past and current team members. I would also like highlight the work of all those who paved the way for advances we are making today in the lab, like that of Dr. Felisa Martín Bravo for whom this award is named. Not only was she the first woman to obtain a PhD in physics in Spain, she pioneered studies of material structure using X-ray photons.”