Ludwig Genzel (1922 - 2003)


  • The Ludwig-Genzel-Prize is awarded to a young scientist for exceptional contributions to the field of condensed-matter spectroscopy. Related to Ludwig Genzel's scientific oeuvre the focus is on the far-infrared spectral range.
  • The award contains a diploma and prize money of €4000 . Bruker Optics (Ettlingen) is the sponsor of this prize.
  • The prize is awarded every two years during the International Conference on Low Energy Electrodynamics in Solids (LEES).
  • The selection is made by a committee.
  • Nominations should be submitted to the chairman of the selection committee by February 1, 2016, including
    -    a nomination letter evaluating the nominee's qualifications and identifying the specific work to be recognized by the Ludwig-Genzel-Prize;
    -    a biographical sketch;
    -    a list of the most important publications;
    -    two, but no more than four, seconding letters;
    -    up to five reprints or preprints if appropriate.


Current members of the selection committee:



The Ludwig-Genzel-Prize 2004 is awarded to

Prof. Dimitri Basov

(UC San Diego, U.S.A.)

for his important work on the optical spectroscopy of solids.

His infrared investigations significantly advanced our understanding of the high-temperature superconducting materials.

The Ludwig-Genzel-Prize 2006 is awarded to

Prof. Dr. Mathias M. Schubert

(University of Nebraska Lincoln, U.S.A.

for his contributions to generalized infrared spectroscopic ellipsometry and application to numerous problems in solid state science.

Mathias Schubert's achievements include both theory and application of spectroscopic ellipsometry. Over the years he advanced as the leading scientist in generalized ellipsometry. His work on complex and anisotropic materials, films and structures is pioneering. Examples are semiconductor layer structures, wurtzite ZnO films, organic pentacene films, or orthorhombic Sb2S3. The development of far-infrared magneto-optic ellipsometry in the far-infrared and THz spectral range is another accomplishment mainly driven by Mathias Schubert which allows for determination of the free-carrier parameters in semiconductors, for instance.

The Ludwig-Genzel-Prize 2008 is awarded to

Dr. Ricardo Lobo

(Laboratoire Photons et Matiere - CNRS UPR 5, Paris)

for his contributions to the optical spectroscopy of superconductors and the development of far-infrared pump-probe experiments.

Dr. Ricardo Lobo achievements include investigations of kinetic-energy changes across the superconducting transition in hole-doped cuprates by measuring the optical response from the far-infrared to the deep-UV. His work on the normal state gap in electron-doped materials also brings new insight in this controversial issue. Ricardo Lobo significantly contributed to the realization of novel pump-probe experiments at Brookhaven National Laboratories utilizing a Ti:sapphire laser synchronized to the VUV synchrotron storage ring. This allowed him to investigate the pair recombination dynamics in superconductors and gap energy shift in the photo-exited state. His most recent achievements are in the field of multiferroics, in particular the investigation of the lattice dynamics.

The Ludwig-Genzel-Prize 2010 is awarded to

Prof. Dr. Alfred Leitenstorfer

(Universität Konstanz, Germany)

for pushing the limits of ultrafast optical spectroscopy and applying it to fundamental problems in condensed matter physics.


The Ludwig-Genzel-Prize 2012 is awarded to

Dr. Alexey Kuzmenko

(University de Geneve, Switzerland)

for his seminal work on graphene and for his important contributions to the optical investigations of novel superconductors.

Dr. Alexey Kuzmenko first observed the universal optical conductance in graphite that is not destroyed by interlayer hopping. His continuous efforts in the field of high-Tc superconductors made important contributions to the issue of spectral weight shift between visible and infrared frequencies. He clarified the optical properties of the two-band superconductor MgB2. The Award in particular acknowledges the development of the RefFIT algorithms for the optical data analysis that is widely used by the infrared community all over the world.

The Ludwig-Genzel-Prize 2014 is awarded to 

                      Dr. Rainer Hillenbrand

                   (CIC nanoGUNE, San Sebastian, Spain)

for the design and development of infrared near-field spectroscopy and the application of this novel spectro­scopic method in different areas of natural sciences.


Rainer Hillenbrand is a pioneer and world-leading expert at developing devices for optical near-field microscopy. This revolutionary surface-imaging technique allows him to perform spectrally resolved measurements from the visible to the microwave regime with an unprecedented spatial resolution. He has applied the technique to perform cutting-edge research in different fields, including fundamental solid-state physics, materials science, life science, and nanophotonics. His work reveals a unique combination of engineering skills and deep insights into the scientific problems of the various topics. Hillenbrand addresses both fundamental questions and applications reaching all the way to industrial maturity.