Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science
California Institute of Technology
Professor Atwater currently serves as Director of the DOE Energy Frontier Research Center on Light-Material Interactions in Solar Energy Conversion, and is also Director of the Resnick Sustainability Institute, Caltech’s largest endowed research program. Atwater’s scientific interests have two themes: photovoltaics and solar energy as well as plasmonics and optical metamaterials. His group has created new high efficiency solar cell designs, and have developed principles for light trapping. Atwater is an early pioneer in nanophotonics and plasmonics; he gave the name to the field of plasmonics in 2001. H e has authored or co-authored more than 400 publications cited in aggregate >20,000 times and his group’s advances in the solar energy and plasmonics field have been reported in Scientific American, Science, Nature Materials, Nature Photonics and Advanced Materials.
He serves as Associate Editor for the IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, and in 2006 he founded the Gordon Research Conference on Plasmonics, which he served as chair in 2008. He is co -founder and chief technical advisor for Alta Devices, a venture-backed company in Santa Clara, CA, currently developing high efficiency/low cost GaAs photovoltaics technology, and of Caelux Corporation, a venture-backed photovoltaics company in Pasadena, CA.
Harry Atwater has been honoured by several awards, including: (2013) Fellowship from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences,
(2012) ENI Prize for Renewable and Non-conventional Energy, SPIE Green Photonics Award (2012), MRS Kavli Lecturer in Nanoscience (2010), the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award (2010). He received the Joop Los Fellowship from the Dutch Society for Fundamental Research on Matter (2005), the A.T.&T. Foundation Award (1990). He won the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award (1989) and the IBM Faculty Development Award in 1989-1990. Atwater is a Fellow of the Materials Research Society, and Member of the Bohmische Physical Society. Professor Atwater has worked extensively as a consultant for industry and government, and has actively served the materials community, including Material Research Society Meeting Chair in 1997, AVS Electronic Materials and Processing Division Chair in 1999, Materials Research Society President in 2000, and Board of Trustees of the Gordon Research Conferences. He also teaches graduate level Applied Physics classes at Caltech in optoelectronics, solid-state physics and device
physics. Professor Atwater received his B. S., M. S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology respectively in 1981, 1983 and 1987. He held the IBM Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University from 1987-88, and has been a member of the Caltech faculty since 1988.