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08 February 2019

The Optical Society Awards Eli Yablonovitch the 2019 Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize

8 February 2019

The Optical Society Awards Eli Yablonovitch the
2019 Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize

Top honors for a pioneer in the field of optoelectronics and photonic bandgap research

WASHINGTON -- The Optical Society (OSA), the leading global professional association in optics and photonics, today announced that the 2019 Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize will be presented to Eli Yablonovitch, University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A. Yablonovitch is honored for “diverse and deep contributions to optical science including photonic crystals, strained semiconductor lasers, and new record-breaking solar cell physics.”


“Eli Yablonovitch has long been a distinguished leader in optics and photonics research, starting with his pathbreaking work on photonic crystals,” said 2019 OSA President Ursula Gibson, who is professor of physics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. “His legacy of scientific achievement now rightly includes the Ives Medal/Quinn Prize, one of OSA’s highest honors.”

Yablonovitch is the Director of the NSF 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.

Regarded as a father of the photonic bandgap concept, Yablonovitch has received many awards and honors including OSA’s R.W. Wood Prize and Adolf Lomb Medal, OSA Fellow, 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 & Sciences and Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London.

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 4(n squared) “Yablonovitch Limit” light-trapping factor used worldwide in commercial solar panels.

First presented in 1929, the Frederic Ives Medal recognizes overall distinction in optics, and is the highest award of the Society. The medal was endowed by Herbert E. Ives--a distinguished charter member and 1924 – 1925 OSA  President--to honor his father’s pioneering contributions to color photography, three-color process printing, and other branches of applied optics. The Quinn Prize was added in 1995 in recognition of OSA's first Executive Director, Jarus W. Quinn.

About The Optical Society
Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit

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