LCN Co-director Anatoly Zayats has been awarded the Humboldt Research Award. Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grants Humboldt Research Awards to internationally renowned academics from abroad in recognition of their entire academic record to date.
Anatoly is also Head of the Photonics & Nanotechnology group in the Department of Physics at King's College London. His current research interests are in the field of nanophotonics, which focuses on how light interacts with nanoscale objects – either nanoparticles or more complex man-made nanostructures. He is the Principal Investigator on the EPSRC programme grant Reactive Plasmonics and the ERC Advanced Grant Integrating Complex Beams and Metasurfaces.
Anatoly’s research investigates how the nanostructuring of materials affects their optical properties (such as changing gold to appear as green, orange, red or invisible). In combining nanostructures together, artificial materials (called metamaterials) can be created with properties which are not seen or difficult to achieve in natural materials. These effects are important not only for decorative and anti-counterfeiting applications, but also in the development of sensors capable of detecting explosives and various dangerous gasses, catalysing chemical reactions with light and new approaches for high-resolution optical imaging and optical information processing.
Commenting on the award, Anatoly said:
It is a great honour to receive the Humboldt Research Prize. This prestigious award is the recognition for all the hard work of all my post-docs and PhD students who contributed to our progress in this field over the years. Nanophotonics and metamaterials is an exciting area of research with many practical applications and we will continue doing our best to uncover new useful properties of light.