Professor at the California Institute of Technology
Harry Atwater is currently Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests center around two interwoven research themes: photovoltaics and solar energy; and nanophotonics and plasmonics.
Atwater and his group have been active in photovoltaics research for more than 30 years. He is an early pioneer in surface plasmon photonics; he gave the name to the field of plasmonics in 2001. He has authored or co-authored over 400 publications, and his group’s developments in the solar and plasmonics field have been featured in Scientific American and in research papers in Science, Nature Materials, Nature Photonics and Advanced Materials.
Atwater received his S.B. (1981), S.M. (1983), and Ph.D. (1987) in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a Fellow of the Materials Research Society, American Physical Society and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.
He currently serves as as Director of the DOE Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. He was the founding Director of the Resnick Institute for Science, Energy and Sustainability, Caltech’s largest endowed research program focused on energy.
Atwater is founder and scientific advisor for Alta Devices, a company in Santa Clara, CA developing a transformational high efficiency/low cost photovoltaics technology, and also founded Aonex Corporation, a compound semiconductor materials company, sold to Amberwave Systems.
Specialties: Photovoltaics and solar energy; and plasmonics and optical metamaterials.