Tobias Kippenberg elected OSA Fellow

Prof.  Tobias Kippenberg © 2017 EPFL - Alain Herzog

Prof. Tobias Kippenberg © 2017 EPFL - Alain Herzog

Tobias Kippenberg has been elected into the 2018 class of Fellows of The Optical Society (OSA).

The Optical Society was founded in 1916 as the Optical Society of America (OSA) with the purpose of advancing the study of light in both theory and application. As such, the OSA recognizes distinguished achievements in the field of both optics and photonics and supports the community with a number of grants, educational initiatives, and technical programs. In 2008, in recognition of its worldwide membership, the society was renamed as The Optical Society, while maintaining its original acronym.

OSA Fellows are members who have distinguished themselves through their work and have been nominated by other OSA Fellows. Overall, the OSA, which counts more than 20 000 members, keeps its Fellows restricted to only 10% of that number and the number elected each year is limited to approximately 0.5% of the current membership total.

Professor Tobias J. Kippenberg, Director of EPFL’s Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements (SB/STI) has been selected for the 2018 class of OSA fellows “For pioneering fundamental and applied research on microresonator frequency combs and cavity optomechanics”.

Tobias J. Kippenberg’s research concerns the Science and Applications of high-Q optical microresonators. These are devices that store light for extended amounts of time in micro and nanoscale volumes, and that Kippenberg's lab fabricates at EPFL's Center for Micro-Nanotechnology. Using microresonators, he studies the fundamental interaction of mechanical vibrations and light via the radiation pressure force, as well as applications in frequency metrology.

On the fundamental level, microresonators enable the study of radiation pressure, which is the force that electromagnetic radiation exerts and can allow us to control, measure, and cool mechanical vibrations. Using this, Kippenberg's research studies quantum mechanical effects of mechanical systems. In addition, his work also focuses on a new class of microresonator-based optical frequency combs (“micro-combs” or “Kerr combs”), that can be used in metrology, spectroscopy and telecommunications, and which offer compact form factor in computer design, chip-scale integration, and operation over broad bandwidth from the visible to the mid-infrared spectral range.