- Capasso Receives Czochralski Award
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 12, 2011 — Federico Capasso of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has been awarded the 2011 Jan Czochralski Award. Capasso is the Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering.
The award is named for Jan Czochralski, a Polish scientist known for his discovery of the technology for growing single crystals, now known as the Czochralski method. Taking into account the merits of this process for materials science, technology transfer to industry, and international collaboration, the European Materials Research Society established the award.
Federico Capasso, a researcher who has been widely honored for his interdisciplinary research in fields such as materials science, solid-state physics, electronics and photonics, has received the 2011 Jan Czochralski Award. (Image: Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)
The society selected Capasso for his lifetime achievements in the field of advanced materials science.
His research in nanoscale science and technology has covered a broad range of topics, starting with study of bandgap engineering of artificially structured semiconductor materials and devices. In 1994, this research culminated in the invention and demonstration of quantum cascade lasers by Capasso and his group at Bell Labs. Capasso showed that by varying the thickness of layers in the active region, it is possible to select the wavelength at which a quantum cascade laser will emit light, customizing it for a specific application.
Other highlights of his research include the investigation of the Casimir effect (the attraction between any pair of macroscopic bodies due to quantum fluctuations of vacuum) and, in particular, the first measurement of a repulsive Casimir. He has also worked on plasmonics, demonstrating laser antennas capable of creating high-intensity nanoscale light spots for optical recording and highly collimated beams.
Past recipients of the Jan Czochralski Award include Walter Heywang, former director of research for Siemens; Boris Paton, the long-term president of the Ukraine National Academy of Science; Thaddeus B. Massalski, professor at Carnegie Mellon University; Shuji Nakamura, professor at the University of California; Kurt Heinz Juergen Buschow, professor at the University of Amsterdam; Hermann Grimmeiss, professor at the University of Lund; and Mildred Dresselhaus, professor at MIT.
For a recent talk given by Capasso on quantum cascade lasers, see: The Future of Lasers: Two Perspectives
For more information, visit: www.seas.harvard.edu
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