Asst. Prof. Yonatan Calahorra
Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering
GTEP new recruit, Asst. Prof. Yonatan Calahorra, is a Technion alumnus who was born into a Technion family. Both his parents are Technion graduates and he grew up outside of Haifa. Calahorra started his Technion studies in the Viterbi Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering, receiving his B.Sc, M.Sc and Ph.D there.
During his graduate studies he focused on the electrical and mechanical properties of nanoscale semiconductors. He explains, “this field of study was gaining ground during my B.Sc studies and at the end of my Ph.D I became very interested in how it would develop. I spent a lot of time thinking about the future of nanoscale materials and became interested in electro-mechanical energy converters: piezoelectric materials.”
Calahorra then went on to the University of Cambridge for five years to pursue postdoctoral research. At the end he felt it was time to come home to Israel, where he had decided he wanted to do his research, interact with Israeli colleagues and raise his family. In March 2021 he accepted a position in the Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering and set up his Magneto-Electro-Mechanical Smart Materials Lab(MEMSM). In his research Calahorra aims to gain fundamental knowledge about a wide range of multifunctional, or smart, materials to utilize in novel, beneficial and desirable applications. According to Calahorra, “My research in materials science is at the crossroads of many disciplines, when in the biomaterials field we can intersect with medicine, and in multifunctional semiconductors there is quantum technologies, physics and electronics. At Technion and as a member of GTEP I have access to colleagues in diverse faculties.”
In the next few years the main directions in the MEMSM lab will include:
- Exploring ways to control and enhance piezoelectricity in bio- and biocompatible materials through downscaling and structuring
- Studying piezoelectric semiconductors in forms ranging from nanowires to porous materials
- Create composites comprised of magnetostrictive and piezoelectric materials to realize magnetoelectric materials
- Explore applications based on piezoelectric materials and/or magnetoelectric composites
- One particular goal is to create biocompatible magnetoelectric transducer devices with potential uses as biomedical devices
He explains that through mechanical strain/stress engineering in piezoelectric semiconductors he would like to improve opto-electrical devices like those in solar cells.
Calahorra believes that GTEP’s dedicated graduate program and the funding offered to candidates is a real plus to grow his lab and accomplish his goals.
Inviting potential candidates to contact him, he says, “my research group and interests are very diverse, in fact people of almost any scientific background could find a place here. I would be very happy to hear from you.”