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MRS Press Release

Alexandra Boltasseva to Receive 2013 MRS Outstanding Young Investigator Award

March 07, 2013
Press & Public Relations Contact:

Ryan Rebholz
Communications Manager
Materials Research Society
WARRENDALE, PA - 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.

Boltasseva is an assistant professor at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University, and an adjunct associate professor at Technical University of Denmark (DTU), where she received her PhD in electrical engineering. She received the IEEE Photonics Society Young Investigator Award, the MIT Technology Review Top Young Innovator (TR35) Award, the Purdue College of Engineering Early Career Research Award, the Young Researcher Award in Advanced Optical Technologies from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, and the Young Elite-Researcher Award from the Danish Council for Independent Research. She is topical editor for Optics Letters and the Journal of Optics and guest editor for Advances in OptoElectronics.

About the Materials Research Society

MRS is an organization of over 13,000 materials researchers from academia, industry and government worldwide, and a recognized leader in promoting the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research and technology to improve the quality of life. MRS members are students and professionals hailing from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and engineering—the full spectrum of materials research. Headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania (USA), MRS membership now spans 90 countries, with approximately 45 percent of members residing outside the United States.

MRS serves and engages members across generations to advance their careers and promote materials research and innovation. The Society produces high-quality meetings and publications, assuring that members of all career stages can present and publish their most important and timely work to an international and interdisciplinary audience. MRS continues to expand its professional development portfolio, as well as promote diversity and inclusion in the scientific workforce, with career services for researchers worldwide. The Society advocates for the importance of scientific research and innovation to policymakers and the community. And the MRS Awards program honors those whose work has already had a major impact in the field, as well as those whose work shows great promise for future leadership.

For more information about the Materials Research Society visit mrs.org and follow @Materials_MRS.