Five Wrocław University of Science and Technology researchers have been awarded over than 12 million PLN (around USD$3.2 million) for research projects under the Maestro and Sonata Bis competitions organized by the National Centre for Science. Among the research area are perovskites, active enzymes, and artificial intelligence.

Targeting experienced scientists, Maestro is a competition for research projects aimed at carrying out pioneering, and also interdisciplinary, research that is important for the development of science and reaching beyond the current state of knowledge, which may result in scientific discoveries.

Under this programme, a grant for almost 4 million PLN (about USD$1 million) was awarded to University Professor Paulina Płochocka-Maude, who will conduct a project entitled "SERENADE – Soft perovskites – a new paradigm in semiconductor engineering".

The project will focus on the deformability of perovskites and how to take advantage of it to modify their properties. The deformation of perovskites affects the arrangement of atoms within their lattice and thus changes their properties. As a result of stress or compression, it’s possible to control their absorption and emission properties, i.e. what color they are or what color light they emit – explains Professor Paulina Płochocka-Maude. The softness of perovskites means that the degree of their properties’ modification by external factors is much greater than as was the case with previously known semiconductors – she adds.

The project will be carried out under a consortium arrangement established with the Włodzimierz Trzebiatowski Institute of Low Temperatures and Structural Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences.