Karl Leo

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Karl Leo (born 10 July 1960 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany) is a German physicist.


Leo studied physics at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg and obtained the Diplomphysiker degree with a thesis on solar cells under supervision of Adolf Goetzberger at the Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme. In 1986 he joined the Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung in Stuttgart for a PhD under the guidance of Hans Queisser. He then joined AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel (New Jersey) as a postdoctoral research associate. In 1991 he joined the RWTH Aachen as an assistant professor and obtained the Habilitation degree. In 1993 he joined the Technische Universitaet Dresden as a professor of optoelectronics. Since 2002 he has been also with the Fraunhofer-Institut für Photonische Mikrosysteme, currently as director.


Leo works in the field of semiconductor optics and the physics of thin organic films. In 1992 he discovered Bloch oscillations in a semiconductor superlattice. His work on organic semiconductors led to Organic Light Emitting Diodes with the highest power efficiencies reported and to Organic Solar Cells with leading efficiency values.[1] In 2002 he won the Leibniz award, which is Germany's most prestigious scientific award.[2]



  1. ^ Leading Organic Solar Cell efficiencies by Heliatek. http://www.heliatek.com/en/press/press-releases/details/heliatek-sets-new-organic-photovoltaic-world-record-efficiency-of-13-2
  2. ^ Leibniz award is the most important scientific award in Germany. ("Der Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Preis ist der wichtigste Forschungsförderpreis in Deutschland.") https://www.bmbf.de/de/der-gottfried-wilhelm-leibniz-preis-575.html

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