Stan Williams and his UCLA collaborator Jim Heath are the winners of this year's Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics, one of the most prestigious international awards in the field.
Dr. Williams, senior principal laboratory scientist and director of the Quantum Structures Research Initiative, and Heath, a UCLA chemistry professor, were recognized for their pioneering work in nanotechnology applications. A team lead by the duo recently demonstrated the first molecular switches in a solid-state device that can be set and read electronically.
Research by HP Labs into molecular-scale electronics is intended to provide vast improvements in computing power efficiency in the post-silicon era. Nanometer-sized structures have the potential to be the raw materials for integrated circuits that are a billion times more efficient than today's chips, but just a fraction of the size and cost.
"We're tremendously proud of Stan," said Dick Lampman, director of HP Labs, director of HP Labs. "He and his team have done revolutionary work that has the potential to change the computing landscape of the future."
This is the third year scientists have been honored with the Springer Prize, awarded by the publishers of Applied Physics, the preeminent European journal in the applied physics field. Previous winners are Peter Fromherz of Germany for the invention of the neuron-silicon junction and Shuji Nakamura of Japan for the invention of the GaN blue laser diode.
"This is a unique honor," said Michael Stuke, editor of Applied Physics A (Materials Science & Processing). "It is given only to key and visionary pioneers in their field."
Dr. Williams joined HP Labs in 1996 as principal laboratory scientist and director of the Quantum Structures Research Initiative. Previously, he was a chemistry professor at UCLA and a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories.
The two scientists will share the $5,000 prize.
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