Associate Director

Harry Atwater

Harry Atwater, Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science; Director, Joint Center for Articificial Photosynthesis

California Institute of Technology

Professor Harry Atwater is the Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science at the California Institute of Technology. Professor Atwater currently serves as Director of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. He served as Director of the LMI-EFRC from 2009-2014. He is also the founding Editor-in-Chief for ACS Photonics, and the Co-founder and Chief Technical Advisor for Alta Devices, a company that has developed a low cost GaAs photovoltaics technology with world record cell efficiency. His research interests center around two interwoven research themes: photovoltaics and solar energy; and plasmonics and optical metamaterials. Atwater and his group have been active in photovoltaics research for more than 20 years. Recently they have created new photovoltaic devices, including the silicon wire array solar cell, and layer-transferred fabrication approaches to III-V semiconductor III-V and multijunction cells, as well as making advances in plasmonic light absorber structures for III-V compound and silicon thin films. He is a pioneer in surface plasmon photonics; he gave the name to the field of plasmonics in 2001. Atwater has been honored by awards, including: (2015) Induction into National Academy of Engineering, (2014) Julius Springer Prize in Applied Physics, (2014) ISI Highly Cited Researcher, (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), and the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award (2010). He has authored or co-authored over 200 publications, and his group's developments in the solar and plasmonics field have been featured in Scientific American and in research papers in Science, Nature Materials, Nature Photonics and Advanced Materials.