Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics to Atwater and Polman

Published on August 12, 2014
Category Photonic Materials

This year’s Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics will be awarded to AMOLF group leader Prof. Albert Polman and his colleague Prof. Harry A. Atwater from Caltech Pasadena, USA, for their pioneering achievements in plasmonics and novel nanophotonic routes to ultrahigh-efficiency solar energy conversion. The award, accompanied by US$ 5,000, will be presented on 1 September at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam during the Julius Springer Forum on Applied Physics 2014.

According to Springer: “Atwater and Polman have made key contributions to the research area of nanophotonics, the science of light at the nanoscale. In particular, they have pioneered the use of metallic nanostructures that support optical resonances called surface plasmons, to control light at the nanoscale. A key novel insight of their research regards the use of optical nanostructures in photovoltaics. Atwater and Polman have demonstrated how light can be more efficiently absorbed and trapped in solar cells by integrating nanostructures in the solar cell. This enables the fabrication of ultrathin solar cells that can be made at reduced costs, as well as new solar cell architectures with increased efficiency.“
Atwater and Polman have been collaborators for over 20 years. They have both developed new measurement instruments and fabrication technology that has led to start-up companies. In 2012 Atwater and Polman have been awarded the prestigious ENI Renewable and Non-conventional Energy Prize for their research on high-efficiency solar cells based on nanophotonic design.

The Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics recognizes researchers who have made an outstanding and innovative contribution to the fields of applied physics. It has been awarded annually since 1998 by the Editors-in-Chief of the Springer journals Applied Physics A – Materials Science & Processing and Applied Physics B – Lasers and Optics. Read the press release