University of California, Berkeley
Eli Yablonovitch is Director of the NSF Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science (E3S), a multi-University Center headquartered at Berkeley.
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.
In his photovoltaic research, Yablonovitch introduced the 4(n squared) (“Yablonovitch Limit”) light-trapping factor, 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. holds the world record for solar cell efficiency, now 28.8% at 1 sun.
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 two billion cellphone antennas.
He has been elected to the NAE, NAS, NAI, AmAcArS, and as Foreign Member, UK Royal Society. Among his honors is the IEEE Edison Medal, the Buckley Prize of the American Physical Society, and the Isaac Newton Medal of the UK Institute of Physics.