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Minerva Prize 2011 for Maria Antonietta Loi

26 October 2011
Portrait picture Maria Antonietta Loi
Prof. Maria Antonietta Loi

The Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) has awarded the Minerva Prize 2011 to Prof. Maria Loi of the University of Groningen. She will receive the award for her article on a new discovery on the use of carbon nanotubes in optoelectronic nanodevices.

The FOm/f advisory committee was highly impressed by the quality of her article published in Advanced Materials last year. The Minerva Prize is for the best scientific publication by a female researcher on a physics subject in the previous two years. It will be awarded on 17 January 2012 at the Physics FOM Congress in Veldhoven.

The research that led to the article ‘Encapsulation of conjugated oligomers in single-walled carbon nanotubes: towards nanohybrids for photonic devices’ was conducted by a European partnership initiated and coordinated by Loi.

The research showed that in nanotubes the dye alpha-sexithiophene emits photons with energies higher than just those of the first excited state. It was also discovered that the nanotubes protect the light-sensitive materials, as a result of which these become more stable.

These discoveries are particularly important for the possible applications of what are known as ‘organic-dye nanotube hybrid light emitters’.

The article was the unanimous choice of the FOm/f advisory committee, with eleven articles in contention. ‘Loi made a very important contribution to the realization of the research and the resulting article, which is clearly written and comprehensible to non-specialists. Furthermore it is research in a relevant area and the results are of major importance for the field.’

Maria Antonietta Loi received her PhD from the University of Cagliari (Italy) in 2001 and continued as a postdoc at the Johannes Kepler University of Linz and the University of Bologna. Loi has been a Rosalind Franklin Fellow with the University of Groningen since 2006. In 2010 she became associate professor and head of the Photophysics & Optoelectronics group.

Minerva Prize

The bi-annual Minerva Prize for the best physics publication by a woman is part of the FOm/f Programme (for more information see, which aims to retain more female scientists for physics in the Netherlands. The aim of the prize is to draw attention to excellent female physicists and to boost the prize winner’s career. The prize is awarded to a Dutch scientist or someone who conducted research for her publication in the Netherlands. The Minerva Prize includes a EUR 5000 cash award that the winner is free to allocate as she likes.

Contact: Prof. Maria Antonietta Loi

Last modified:13 March 2020 01.55 a.m.
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