Photonics21 student innovation award presented at Laser World of Photonics

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The third Photonics21 Student Innovation Award has been awarded to Dhriti Sundar Ghosh and Oriol Bertran-Pardo. The award, sponsored by SPIE, the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme, and Aixtron, was presented 25 May during Laser World of Photonics in Munich.

Established by Photonics21 Working Group 7 (WG7) Photonics Research, Education and Training to promote research in photonics that is related to R&D with industrial impact, the award includes a cash prize of 5,000 euro to be shared by the two winners.

Ghosh (ICFO-Instituto de Ciencias Fotónicas), a SPIE member, won the prize for his paper on 'Photonic devices incorporating transparent electrodes made of ultra-thin metal films', while Bertran-Pardo (Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs) won for his paper on 'Study of disruptive solutions for the next generation of high-bit-rate optical communications systems'.

The award is a prize for students in optics and photonics which honours excellent industrial-related photonics research and which aims to further promote these research results. It intends to support training and education in photonics throughout Europe, to foster a closer cooperation between industry and academia and to increase awareness for photonics within Europe.

'Estimates indicate that Europe will need 80,000 new qualified photonics experts to cope with rapid industry growth and the retirement of skilled workers. There is an urgent need to develop new photonics workers and scientists,' commented Professor Roberta Ramponi, Photoncis21 executive board member, who presented the awards.

Bertran-Pardo's was awarded for his outstanding research work in the area of optical fibre systems. He investigated the physics of fibre propagation and applied his knowledge to define innovative conditions allowing the deployment of optical systems that will carry more information than today's.

Ghosh focussed on different UTMF-based geometries for potential applications in Organic Light Emitting Diodes, photovoltaic cells – organic and inorganic – and displays. His contribution covers the full research chain: from fundamental studies, such as in the effect of interface between dielectrics and metals on optical and electrical properties, to devices, for example organic PV and OLEDs, and technology transfer activities in the photovoltaic, display and car industries.

Ramponi thanked the 24 applicants of this year's award and the sponsors SPIE Europe, Aixtron and the European Commission.