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MRS Innovation in Materials Characterization Award 2014 for development of new tool for optical imaging


Innovation in Materials Characterization Award honors an outstanding advance in materials characterization that notably increases knowledge of the structure, composition, in situ behavior under outside stimulus, electronic behavior, or other characterization feature, of materials. This year's award was presented to Albert Polman, a scientific group leader at the FOM Institute AMOLF, The Netherlands, "for the development, application and commercialization of Angle-Resolved Cathodoluminescence Imaging Spectroscopy (ARCIS) as a new tool for optical imaging at the nanoscale, with applications in nanophotonics and materials science in general." Polman was recognized on April 23 during the Awards Ceremony at the 2014 MRS Spring Meeting held in San Francisco and presented his award talk, Angle-Resolved Cathodoluminescence Imaging Spectroscopy as part of the Meeting's Symposium X Lecture Series earlier that day. This session was recorded with video, audio and presentation materials and will be available for free viewing from MRS OnDemand shortly.

The plasmonics and nanophotonics community has been struggling with spatial imaging and k-space resolved light modes for decades. Polman's imaging technique enables a conventional scanning electron microscope to be transformed into a microscope that allows plasmonic and photonic modes to be mapped with nanoscale spatial resolution. With its deep-subwavelength spatial resolution, the ARCIS technique exceeds the diffraction limit by a factor of 10-20 for visible light and by nearly a factor of 100 for near-infrared light. This technique is useful in broad areas of materials research including integrated optics, semiconductor optics, metamaterials, photovoltaics, photocatalysis, geology, and petrology. The technique is being commercialized by the start-up company Delmic, and Polman now operates his ARCIS system as a user facility.

Polman obtained his BSc (1981), MSc (1985), and PhD (1989) degrees from the University of Utrecht. He has over 230 publications and is co-inventor on ten patents. He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of MRS, and recipient of an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant (2010), the ENI Renewable Energy Prize (2012), and the Physica Prize of the Dutch Physical Society (2014).

Source: Materials Research Society