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25 June 2021

King's Physicist awarded prestigious Humboldt Research Award

Professor Anatoly Zayats has been awarded in recognition of his record of academic excellence.

Professor Anatoly Zayats

Granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Humboldt Research Award is awarded to internationally leading researchers whose discoveries have had a lasting effect on their discipline.


At King’s, Anatoly is Head of the Photonics & Nanotechnology group in the Department of Physics. His current research interests are in the field of nanophotonics, which focuses on how light interacts with nanoscale objects – either nanoparticles or more complex man-made nanostructures.


Anatoly’s research investigates how the nanostructuring of materials affects their optical properties (such as changing gold to appear as green, orange, red or invisible). In combining nanostructures together, artificial materials (called metamaterials) can be created with properties which are not seen or difficult to achieve in natural materials. These effects are important not only for decorative and anti-counterfeiting applications, but also in the development of sensors capable of detecting explosives and various dangerous gasses, catalysing chemical reactions with light and new approaches for high-resolution optical imaging and optical information processing.


Commenting on receipt of the award, Anatoly said:

It is a great honour to receive the Humboldt Research Prize. This prestigious award is the recognition for all the hard work of all my post-docs and PhD students who contributed to our progress in this field over the years. Nanophotonics and metamaterials is an exciting area of research with many practical applications and we will continue doing our best to uncover new useful properties of light.

Professor Anatoly Zayats

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Anatoly Zayats

Professor of Physics