Eli Yablonovitch wins Franklin Medal
Eli Yablonovitch, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, was awarded the 2019 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering for his innovative research. Yablonovitch is best known for inventing a class of materials called photonic crystals, which can be used to control light waves similar to the way semiconductors control electric currents. Today, photonic crystals are an essential component of digital communication in data centers, and they have been recognized for producing structural color in many living organisms. In addition to his work with photonic crystals, Yablonovitch famously introduced a numerical factor called 4(n squared). Sometimes referred to as the “Yablonovitch limit,” this factor has been key in work that has improved the efficiency of almost all commercial solar panels worldwide.
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