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Prof. Michal Lipson: The History and State of Art of Optics on a Chip

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Prof. Michal Lipson: The History and State of Art of Optics on a Chip


Prof. Michal Lipton, Columbia University, will visit Trinity College in December to be awarded with an honorary degree. To mark this occasion she will deliver a lecture on the 'The History and State of Art of Optics on a Chip' in the Paccar Theatre, Science Gallery, at 2pm on the 6th of December. 

The lecture will recount her impressive work in optics, through the lens of the past, present and future of the chip. In the past few years we went from the ability to miniaturize a handful of optical components to being able to print massive optical circuits on a microelectronic chip composed of thousands of optical components. These optical circuits enable one to control the flow of light in unprecedented ways and are opening the door to applications that only a decade ago were unimaginable. The idea for guiding light on silicon chip originated in the 1980s but only in the early 2000s the viability of the platform was demonstrated. Prof. Lipson will describe the challenges that silicon photonic faced in its infancy, and how her work helped overcome these challenges. She will also discuss the current state of art of silicon photonics, where larger and more complex systems are now putting a higher demand on the technology.

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Professor Michal Lipson is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University. Her research focus is on Nanophotonics and includes the investigation of novel phenomena, as well as the development of novel devices and applications. Lipson pioneered critical building blocks in the field of Silicon Photonics, which today is recognized as one of the most promising directions for solving the major bottlenecks in microelectronics. She is the inventor of over 30 issued patents and has co-authored more than 200 scientific publications. In recognition of her work in silicon photonics she was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, the Blavatnik Award, and the Optical Society’s R. W. Wood Prize. She was recently named the recipient of the 2019 IEEE Photonics Award. In 2018 an honorary degree from Trinity College, University of Dublin was conferred upon her. Since 2014 she has been named by Thomson Reuters as a top 1% highly cited researcher in the field of Physics.



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