Willem Vos

Physicist Willem Vos will receive the Descartes-Huygens Prize 2015. He has been awarded the prize for his outstanding research and their contribution to Franco-Dutch relations.

About the laureate

Dutch physicist Willem Vos (born 1964) is an expert in nanophotonics, which investigates the interaction between nanomaterials and light. He works for the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente, where he holds the chair in Complex Photonic Systems (COPS). He and his team recently demonstrated for the first time that a photonic bandgap can completely inhibit the emission of light. His group has also succeeded in capturing images of microscopic objects hidden behind an opaque screen. Willem Vos is an outstanding researcher, according to the jury. He was awarded his PhD ‘cum laude’ and is a recipient of a Carnegie fellowship, the Snellius Medal and a VICI grant (from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, NWO). He is a fellow of both the American Physical Society and the Optical Society.

The Descartes-Huygens Prize will allow Willem Vos to cement a partnership between the Institute of Nanosciences and Cryogenics (CEA/INAC/SP2M) in Grenoble and the University of Twente. During his residence in Grenoble, he intends to investigate ultrafast methods for controlling the interaction between light and other particles (cavity quantum electrodynamics). This will clear the way for new applications in quantum optics and quantum computing.