Professor Oleksandr (Alex) Voznyy is the recipient of the 2023 CSC Strem Chemicals Award for Pure or Applied Inorganic Chemistry. This award is presented to researchers who have made an outstanding contribution to inorganic chemistry while working in Canada.
The award recognizes Alex’s work over the past 15 years in the field of semiconductor nanocrystals. Nanocrystals, unlike molecules, do not have a defined unit formula, making each of them unique like a snowflake. Tests on multiple hypothetical structures allowed Alex to devise generic rules for creating an ideal nanocrystal. Using computational and experimental techniques, Alex uncovered the relationship between electronic properties and surface defects and developed an improved understanding of nucleation and growth, which eventually provided control over those imperfections and enabled the implementation of these fascinating nanomaterials in various devices.
Oleksandr earned his Ph.D. in physics of semiconductors from Chernivtsi National University, Ukraine for his work on optoelectronic properties of semiconductor alloys. Several postdoc positions at the University of Sherbrooke (Prof. Jan Dubowski), NRC Canada (Prof. Pawel Hawrylak), and University of Toronto (Prof. Ted Sargent) expanded Alex’s expertise on semiconductor surfaces, many-body physics, and optoelectronic devices.
In 2018, Alex was cross-appointed between the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences at the University of Toronto as an Assistant Professor in Clean Energy. His topics of interest are materials for energy storage and novel materials discovery using high-throughput experiments and machine learning. He continues to work on elucidating the exact surface structure of nanocrystals using “magic-size” nanocrystals as a prototypical example.