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Special guest lecture with the 'father of photonic crystals'

We warmly welcome Professor Eli Yablonovitch, Director of the NSF Centre for Energy Efficient Electronics Science at the University of California, Berkeley to UCL Engineering. Yablonovitch is a photovoltaics expert and pioneer and the founder of the field of photonic crystals.
When Nov 05, 2015
from 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM
Where Sir David Davies Lecture Theatre, Roberts Building
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"What Does the Clock Speed of My Computer Have to do With

the Fundamental Constants of Nature, , c, q, m?"

What limits speed?

It could be the clock speed of a computer, or the speed with which we can detect a single electric charge, or we could ask the same question of many other high speed functions. One view is that the greater the resources poured into the effort; capital equipment, manpower, energy, etc., the greater the speed. The other view is that there is a fundamental speed limit that is controlled by the constants of nature, h , c, q, m.

In this talk, by Eli Yablonovitch, the clock speed of your computer will be deduced from physics.



Prof Eli YablonovitchEli Yablonovitch is Director of the NSF Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science (E3S), a multi-University Center headquartered at Berkeley. 

In his photovoltaic research, Yablonovitch introduced the 4(n squared) (“Yablonovitch Limit”) light-trapping factor that is in worldwide use, for almost all commercial solar panels.

Based on his mantra that “a great solar cell also needs to be a great LED”, his startup company Alta Devices Inc. has, since 2011, held the world record for solar cell efficiency, now 28.8% at 1 sun.

Yablonovitch introduced the idea that strained semiconductor lasers could have superior performance due to reduced valence band (hole) effective mass. With almost every human interaction with the internet, optical telecommunication occurs by strained semiconductor lasers.


He is regarded as a Father of the Photonic BandGap concept, and he coined the term "Photonic Crystal".  The geometrical structure of the first experimentally realized Photonic bandgap, is sometimes called “Yablonovite”.

His startup company Ethertronics Inc., has shipped over one billion cellphone antennas.

He has been elected to the NAE, the NAS, and as Foreign Member, UK Royal Society.  Among his honors is the Buckley Prize of the American Physical Society, and the Isaac Newton Medal of the UK Institute of Physics.

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