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14 February 2014

Surrey University's Alfred Adams awarded Rank Prize for Optoelectronics

Alfred Adams, Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Surrey, has been awarded the 2014 Rank Prize for Optoelectronics for his research into the structure of semiconductor lasers. The prize was jointly awarded to Adams’s co-researcher professor O’Reilly (now working at Ireland’s Tyndall National Institute), and to Eli Yablonovitch at Bell Communications Research and Gordon Osbourn at Sandia National Laboratories for their independent work.

In 1986, Adams and his team proposed that the electronic band structure of quantum well lasers could be significantly improved by deliberately growing the active layer in a state of strain. The results of this work now dominate the semiconductor laser market, with about 1 billion produced each year (a market valued at around $5bn), forming the basis of many every-day technologies, from DVD and Blu-ray storage to optical fiber communications and the Internet.

“I would like to honour the efforts of the many engineers who have made such a difference to every-day life through so many ingenious applications of our research,” says Adams.

The Rank Prize Funds is a charitable organization that seeks to recognise excellence in specific fields of research and reward innovators for their dedication and outstanding contribution. The Funds have as their objectives the advancement and promotion for the public benefit of knowledge, education and learning in sciences (specifically, in the case of the Optoelectronics Fund, the inter-face between optics and electronics and nearly related phenomena).

Tags: Laser diodes

Visit: www.rankprize.org

Visit: www.surrey.ac.uk

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