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IOP Recognizes 4 for Photonics, Optics Research

The Institute of Physics (IOP) has recognized four photonics researchers with its 2015 awards.

Professor Eli Yablonovitch of the University of California, Berkeley, a pioneer in the field of optoelectronics and nanophotonics, received the Isaac Newton Medal, the IOP's highest honor.

Yablonovitch is known for his seminal work on crystal structures that exhibit photonic bandgaps, which limit the propagation of electromagnetic waves at certain frequencies.

In its citation, the IOP credited photonic crystals for a "true paradigm shift in photonics," noting that the structures "are now used in research areas as diverse as quantum computation, nanoscale imaging and sensing, photovoltaics, optical interconnects and high-performance light-emitting diodes."

The institute also noted Yablonovitch's work on the problem of solar-cell efficiency, a research field he continues to pursue as group leader at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

University of Southampton professor Nikolay Zheludev received the IOP's Young Medal in recognition of his work in optical metamaterials, nanophotonics and global leadership.

Zheludev is deputy director of the university’s Optoelectronics Research Centre and directs the Centre for Photonic Materials at Southampton. He is also director of the Centre for Disruptive Photonic Technologies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

He has been involved in development of high-bandwidth, low-intensity optical switching, dispersion control, data processing and optical storage devices. Light harvesting, detectors, nanolasers and components operating across the entire electromagnetic spectrum have also been affected by his work.

The IOP recognized Imperial College London research fellow Edmund Kelleher with the Paterson Medal, its early career award, for contributions to pulse-width and wavelength-versatile fiber-based photonic sources.

Kelleher is working to improve the performance and efficiency of fiber lasers while making them smaller and more user-friendly. Such advances could affect instrumentation in several scientific disciplines, including chemical sensing and biomedical imaging.

Rahul Raveendran-Nair of the University of Manchester was awarded the Moseley Medal and Prize for contributions to the understanding of the electrical, optical and structural properties of graphene and its sister compounds.

Nair studied Raman spectroscopy and field emission of carbon nanotube and polymer composites at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore before coming to Manchester as a doctoral student. He is now a reader at the university.

For more information, visit www.iop.org.

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