The Materials Research Society’s (MRS) Outstanding Young Investigator Award recognizes outstanding, interdisciplinary scientific work in materials research by a young scientist or engineer who shows exceptional promise as a developing leader in the materials area. This year’s award will be presented to Alexandra Boltasseva, assistant professor at Purdue University, “for pioneering research to develop novel materials for advanced plasmonic, metamaterial and transformation optics devices with potential applications in future nanoscale photonic technologies.”
Boltasseva will deliver her talk, Empowering Plasmonics and Metamaterials Technology with New Material Platforms, at the 2013 MRS Spring Meeting on Tuesday, April 2, at 12:15 p.m. in the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. She will be presented with the 2013 Outstanding Young Investigator Award at the MRS Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, April 3, at 6:30 p.m., also in the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.
A prolific researcher, Boltasseva has quickly made many contributions to the plasmonics and metamaterials field, including plasmon waveguides and circuits, and semiconductor metamaterials components. Her research includes transformative work on waveguides offering subwavelength-confinement and novel fabrication approaches for nanoplasmonic devices. Most recently she has tackled a key problem in plasmonics. The majority of work in this field utilizes noble metals, such as silver and gold, which exhibit absorption losses related in part to their relatively high electron densities.
Boltasseva has now pointed the photonics and materials research community toward a counterintuitive direction, which is to explore plasmonic excitations in less metallic materials, which confers the opportunity to significantly reduce the absorption losses. Her work has demonstrated potential for reduced loss in novel plasmonic materials, including as conducting oxide and nitride compounds, implying a bright future for plasmonic materials at near- and mid-infrared as well as visible wavelengths.