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The Optical Society Awards Prize to Eli Yablonovitch

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The Optical Society (OSA), the leading global professional association in optics and photonics, has announced Eli Yablonovitch as the recipient of its 2019 Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize, the OSA’s top honor for a “pioneer” in the field of optoelectronics and photonic bandgap research.

OSA officials said Yablonovitch, of the University of California, Berkeley, is being honored for “diverse and deep contributions to optical science including photonic crystals, strained semiconductor lasers, and new record-breaking solar cell physics.”

Ursula Gibson, 2019 OSA president and professor of physics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, described Yablonovitch as a distinguished leader in photonics research beginning with his work on photonic crystals.

“His legacy of scientific achievement now rightly includes the Ives Medal/Quinn Prize, one of OSA’s highest honors,” she said.

Yablonovitch is a pioneer in the field of optoelectronics and photonic bandgap research. The geometrical structure of the first experimentally realized photonic bandgap is sometimes called “Yablonovite.” He introduced the idea that strained semiconductor lasers could have superior performance, a concept that almost all semiconductor lasers now use.  In photovoltaics, he introduced the 4n2 “Yablonovitch Limit” light-trapping factor used worldwide in commercial solar panels.

Regarded as a father of the photonic bandgap concept, Yablonovitch has received many awards and honors including OSA’s R.W. Wood Prize and Adolph Lomb Medal, OSA Fellow, and American Physical Society Fellow.  He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a foreign member of the Royal Society of London.

Yablonovitch is the director of the National Science Foundation Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science (E3S), a multi-university center headquartered at UC Berkeley. He received a Ph.D. in applied physics from Harvard University. His career has included work at Bell Telephone Laboratories, Harvard, Exxon, and the University of California. He also founded and co-founded several companies.

Photonics Spectra
May 2019
BusinessEli YablonovitchThe Optical SocietyOSAawardsphotonic crystalsphotonic bandgaplaserssemiconductor laserslight speed

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