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MRS Press Release

Alexander A. Balandin Named 2013 MRS Medalist

November 11, 2013
Press & Public Relations Contact:

Ryan Rebholz
Communications Manager
Materials Research Society

WARRENDALE, PA—The Materials Research Society (MRS) has named  Alexander A. Balandin, University of California, Riverside, as the 2013 MRS Medalist. Balandin is recognized for his "discovery of the extraordinary high intrinsic thermal conductivity of graphene, development of an original optothermal measurement technique for investigation of thermal properties of graphene, and theoretical explanation of the unique features of the phonon transport in graphene." Balandin will receive his award at the 2013 MRS Fall Meeting on Wednesday, December 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton Boston Hotel. He will present his talk, Phonons in Graphene and van der Waals Materials, on Wednesday, December 4, as part of the Symposium X Lunchtime Lecture Series. The MRS Medal is awarded for a specific outstanding recent discovery or advancement that has a major impact on the progress of a materials-related field. 

In 2007, Balandin introduced the optothermal experimental technique for measuring thermal conductivity of atomically thin films. This technique, where the micro-Raman confocal spectrometer is used for measuring the local temperature and thermal conductivity, has been reproduced in many laboratories worldwide and applied to a variety of materials systems. In 2008, Balandin published a seminal paper with the report that graphene has extremely high intrinsic thermal conductivity. This discovery created the subfield of graphene thermal research.

The following year, Balandin and his group published theoretical papers where it became clear that the difference in thermal conductivity of graphene and graphite is related to the specifics of the low-energy phonon transport in these systems. In 2010, Balandin and his co-workers carried out the first experimental demonstration of the evolution of heat conduction as the system dimensionality changes from two-dimensional (graphene) to three-dimensional (graphite) and explained it theoretically. The high thermal conductivity of graphene is important for proposed electronic applications of graphene. It also opens a new range of graphene applications in thermal management such as graphene-enhanced thermal interface materials and few-layer graphene heat spreaders.

Balandin received his M.S. degree in applied physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame. Following his postdoctoral research at the University of California, Los Angeles, Balandin joined the University of California, Riverside, faculty in 1999 and founded the Materials Science and Engineering Program in 2006. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Optical Society of America, and the International Society for Optical Engineering. He is a recipient of the 2011 Pioneer of Nanotechnology Award for his research on emerging nanoscale devices.

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.