College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

The future glows with possibilities for Fulbright winner Luiz Jacobsohn


Luiz Jacobsohn of Clemson University was selected to receive the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award and will soon head to Ghent University in Belgium to investigate persistent phosphors, a class of materials that does not need a power supply to emit light.

Jacobsohn, an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, plans to conduct research with Philippe Smet in Ghent University’s Lumilab during the 2022-23 academic year.

Luiz Jacobsohn of Clemson University is headed to Ghent University in Belgium to investigate persistent phosphors.

“The research group led by Professor Smet is definitely the leading group in the world in this field,” Jacobsohn said. “I will truly be working with the best and fulfilling the mission of the Fulbright program.”

Persistent phosphors currently have some marketable applications, such as making toys and glow-in-the-dark safety signs, but they emit light for a limited amount of time. Researchers believe a deeper understanding of persistent phosphors’ microstructure could open up new applications in bioimaging and lighting.

“A major goal is to have persistent phosphors powered by the sun serving as nocturnal light sources,” Jacobsohn said.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program and is designed to create mutual understanding between people from the United States and people from other countries.

Kyle Brinkman, chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, said Jacobsohn is uniquely qualified for the Fulbright award

“His scholarly contributions, combined with his extensive travel, including work in the United States, Brazil and Germany, make him the ideal recipient,” Brinkman said. “I offer him my most sincere congratulations on this well-deserved honor and opportunity.”

Jacobsohn’s selection marks the third time in four years a faculty member from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering has won a Fulbright award.

Stephen Foulger, the Gregg-Graniteville Endowed Chair and Professor, was chosen last year to conduct research on memristors in the Czech Republic. Mark Johnson, the Thomas F Hash Endowed Chair for Sustainable Development, in 2019 was the Fulbright-Hall Distinguished Faculty Scholar at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Jacobsohn joined Clemson in 2009 as a non-tenure track researcher. He became a tenure-track assistant professor in 2013 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2018.

Jacobsohn received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation in 2017. He won the Dean’s Professorship Award and the Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in 2018 and the David and Mary Ann Bishop Dean’s Professorship Award in 2020.

When Jacobsohn returns to Clemson after his academic year abroad, he plans to look for ways to continue the collaboration with Ghent University through mutual visits, sample exchanges, discussions about measurements and student exchanges.

“I think it’s always a great opportunity to share the experience, not only with the faculty, but also and especially with the students who will benefit from my own advancements in knowledge and experience in new techniques, methods and research fields,” Jacobsohn said. “It’s an expansion in all these possibilities.”

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