NEWS | Nov. 13, 2012

Dr. Igor Vurgaftman Receives NRL Sigma Xi Award for Pure Science

By Daniel Parry

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Optical Sciences Division electrical engineer, Dr. Igor Vurgaftman, is the 2012 recipient of the NRL-Edison Chapter Sigma Xi Pure Science Award in recognition of his innovative concepts and designs that have significantly advanced state-of-the-art semiconductor lasers, photodetectors and other infrared devices.

An internationally recognized leader in the theory and modeling of novel semiconductor optoelectronic devices, Vurgaftman has substantially advanced the conception, design, and optimization of several new classes of devices for the technologically important infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Dr. Vurgaftman's deep understanding and theoretical models of the physics of quantum-confined semiconductors have enabled the prediction of their optoelectronic properties, said Dr. Ronald Driggers, superintendent, Optical Sciences Division. His innovative designs and analysis of interband cascade lasers and the novel infrared photodetector designs have resulted in the demonstration of record-setting performance for both classes of devices.

Completing his doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Vurgaftman, joined NRL as a National Research Council (NRC) postdoctoral research associate in 1995. Co-author of more than 230 publications in major refereed journals Vurgaftman's most recognized paper, 'Band parameters for III-V compound semiconductors and their alloys,' has been cited an accumulated 2,048 times, placing him in the top 10 most cited NRL authors, averaging over 240 citations per year.

In addition to being awarded the Sigma Xi Pure Science Award, Vurgaftman has been presented with NRL's Edison Patent Award (2004), Sigma Xi Young Investigator Science Award (2005), Alan Berman Research Publication Award (2009) and is a Fellow of the Optical Society and the American Physical Society and is holder of 11 U.S. patents and six patents pending. Five of his patents have been licensed.

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society actively promotes the promise of science and technology. The Society's goals are to foster interaction among science, technology, and society; to encourage appreciation and support of original work in science and technology; and to honor scientific research accomplishments.

Membership in NRL's Edison Chapter is limited to any person performing scientific research at the Naval Research Laboratory or at the Office of Naval Research, who as evidenced by published results, has shown noteworthy scientific accomplishment as an original investigator in some branch of pure or applied science, or as a scientific director of such research.