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Capasso a Guest Scientist at MPQ

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Internationally renowned applied physicist Federico Capasso of Harvard University is joining the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) as a guest scientist this month.

Professor Capasso, the Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and a Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering at Harvard, received a Humboldt Research Award in May. Under the awards, granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to outstanding foreign academics at the peak of their careers, winners are invited to spend six to 12 months on academic collaboration with specialist colleagues in Germany.

Capasso, whose pioneering photonics research includes seminal contributions to bandgap engineering of optoelectronic materials and plasmonics-based photonic devices, helped invent the quantum cascade laser, a mid-IR coherent light source with widespread use in scientific and industrial applications. Capasso worked for 26 years at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J., before joining Harvard in 2003.

He is the recipient of numerous scientific awards, including the 2004 Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science from the American Physical Society and the 2005 King Faisal International Prize for Science. Earlier this year, he was presented with the 2013 Prize for Applied Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics of the European Physical Society.

Capasso will join the Laser Spectroscopy Div. at MPQ, where he will explore the potential of quantum cascade lasers for mid-IR-frequency comb generation with Nobel Prize winner Dr. Theodor W. Hänsch and colleagues. Capasso will also present three seminars on advanced topics in nanophotonics, the institute said.

For more information, visit: www.mpq.mpg.de/

Published: July 2013
Glossary
optoelectronic
Pertaining to a device that responds to optical power, emits or modifies optical radiation, or utilizes optical radiation for its internal operation. Any device that functions as an electrical-to-optical or optical-to-electrical transducer. Electro-optic often is used erroneously as a synonym.
quantum cascade laser
A quantum cascade laser (QCL) is a type of semiconductor laser that operates based on the principles of quantum mechanics. It is a versatile and powerful device used for emitting coherent light in the mid-infrared to terahertz range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Quantum cascade lasers were first proposed by Federico Capasso, Jerome Faist, Deborah Sivco, Carlo Sirtori, Albert Hutchinson, and Alfred Cho in 1994. Key features and principles of quantum cascade lasers: Quantum cascade...
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