Quinquennial ANNIVERSARY AWARD - Thomas W. Ebbesen

Recipient 2018: Professor Thomas W. Ebbesen, University of Strasbourg.

E-MRS, formed in 1983, developed rapidly in the latter part of the 20th century and the society’s contribution to the world of materials science and the scientists at the leading edge of the discipline became well established. Early in the new millennium, E-MRS decided to create an award to recognise an individual’s contribution to the fundamental understanding of the science of materials through experimental and/or theoretical research. The outcome was the quinquennially Anniversary Award. The first Award was presented in 2003 to mark the 20th Anniversary of E-MRS.

The first beneficiary was Richard Friend, the Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge.  His plenary presentation was focussed on plastic electronics. The day after the Spring Meeting, on 14th June, his knighthood for his ‘services to physics ’was announced in Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday honours and he became Sir Richard Friend.

The 25th Anniversary Award in 2008 was made to Dan Shechtman of Technion University in Israel.  In 2011 Professor Schechtman was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his discovery of quasicrystals, the topic of his plenary talk.

In 2013 the Award was presented to Sir John Pendry of the Centre for Plasmonics & Metamaterials at Imperial College, London, who delivered a presentation entitled ‘Metamaterials open new horizons in electromagnetism"

At the 2018 Spring Meeting the 35th Anniversary Award will be presented to Professor Thomas W. Ebbesen of the University of Strasbourg, the Chair of Physical Chemistry of Light Matter Interactions. Professor Ebbesen shared the 2014 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience with Sir John Pendry and Stefan Hell for their transformative contributions to the field of nano-optics. He will receive the E-MRS award during the conference plenary session on Wednesday 20th June and will deliver a presentation on Light-Matter Interactions in a Material Science Perspective.’

Light-matter interactions are at the heart of stability of matter and many properties we take for granted. For instance, Van der Waals forces can arise from the coupling between molecular dipoles and electromagnetic vacuum fluctuations.  When such interactions become strong enough, a new regime arises characterized by the formation of hybrdid light-matter states. This is the so-called strong coupling regime which leads to fundamental changes in material properties. After introducing the fundamental concepts, examples of modified material properties such as conductivity, energy transport and chemical reactivity will be presented.

For further information about the Anniversary Award, please click here