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  • Solar Researchers Win Eni Italgas Science and Environment Prize
Jan 2007
The scientific commission of the Eni Italgas Prize announced its Science and Environment award has been given to Alan H. Heeger, PhD, co-founder and chief scientist of Konarka Technologies Inc., and to A. Paul Alivisatos, PhD, University of California, Berkeley, chemistry professor and AlivisatosHeeger.jpgassociate laboratory director for physical sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The prize recognizes scientists who have achieved relevant results in research on energy sources and its relation to the environment. Heeger, who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2000, was selected for his research on solar cells made with lightweight, flexible, inexpensive plastics, a technology being commercialized by Lowell, Mass.-based Konarka. Alivisatos was chosen for his studies on very thin solar cells composed of photosensitive nanocrystals. Residential natural gas distributor Italgas, a subsidiary of international energy company Eni, began awarding prizes for research and technological innovation in 1987 to mark the company's 150th anniversary. This year there were 103 submissions from 19 countries for the Science and Environment award. Heeger and Alivisatos will share the 120,000 euro (approximately $155,200) prize, which will be presented in March by Italgas President Paolo Caropreso at an official ceremony in Turin, Italy.

The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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