Ludwig-Genzel-Prize 2023

for exceptional contributions to the field of condensed-matter spectroscopy



  1. 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.

  2. The award contains a diploma and prize money.
    Bruker Optics (Ettlingen) is the sponsor of this prize.
  1. The prize is awarded every two years during the International Conference on Low Energy Electrodynamics in Solids (LEES). For further information, see
    The next LEES will be held at Busan in South Korea from June 22th to 27th 2025.
  1. The selection is made by a committee. Nominations should be submitted to the chairman of the selection committee by February 1st, 2025, 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 seconding letters;
    • up to five reprints or preprints, if appropriate.
Ludwig Genzel
Ludwig Genzel (1922 - 2003)

Members of the selection committee are:

  • Martin Dressel (Stuttgart), Chairman
  • Lara Benfatto (Rome)
  • Leonardo Degiorgi (Zürich)
  • Dirk van der Marel (Genf)
  • Andrei Pimenov (Wien)
  • Hartmut Roskos (Frankfurt)

The Ludwig-Genzel-Prize 2023 is awarded to

Professor Ana Akrap
(University of Fribourg, Switzerland)

for her exceptional contributions to the physics of quantum materials obtained via infrared spectroscopy in high magnetic fields and at high pressures.

Ana Akrap has been using infrared spectroscopy as her main experimental technique to study the electronic and lattice-dynamical properties of various condensed-matter systems. Of particular importance are her contributions to the understanding of the iron-based superconductors and of various low-dimensional correlated materials.

More recently she has put her focus on the optical properties of topological insulators and semimetals. Here, she has performed seminal work that has helped us to understand important aspects of the band structure and the free carrier dynamics of Weyl and Dirac semimetals.

Ana Akrap continuously pushes the experimental limits by performing her low-temperature spectroscopic experiments in strong magnetic fields and under high pressure.

The Ludwig-Genzel-Prize 2020 is awarded to

Professor Nuh Gedik

(Massachussetts Institute of Technology, U.S.A.)

for pioneering the field of light-matter interactions in quantum materials using advanced optical and electron spectroscopy.

Nuh Gedik developed and established a set of advanced spectroscopic tools, including coherent ultrafast optics, from THz to visible, and time and angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy to study topological materials, transition metal dichalcogenides and density wave systems. His discovery of a helicity dependent photocurrent, his investigations on the dynamics of topological electrons, and on photoinduced phase transitions in density wave systems are just some topics among many.

Nuh Gedik is best known for the first observation of Floquet bands in solids, and for the demonstration that a band-gap can be dynamically opened in the excitation spectrum by means of a periodic driving.

The Ludwig-Genzel-Prize 2018 is awarded to

Dr. Lara Benfatto

(Institute for Complex Systems of the National Research Council, Rome, Italy)

for advancing the theoretical understanding of the dynamical response of interacting electronic systems, in particular superconductors.

Lara Benfatto is an exceptional theoretical physicist who combines creative thinking with profound understanding of the basics of physics. She has the ability to do highly sophisticated numerical calculations using modern tools and, at the same time, work closely with experimentalists and suggest specific measurements to catch the key physics. Dr. Benfatto has made a wide range of essential contributions to understand the equilibrium and non-equilibrium, linear and non-linear optical response of quantum materials.

The Ludwig-Genzel-Prize 2016 is awarded to

Professor N. Peter Armitage
(Johns Hopkins University at Baltimore, U.S.A.)

for the development and application of low-frequency electrodynamic probes to quantum correlated matter.

Peter Armitage is an outstanding researcher whose spectroscopic studies of correlated electron systems have made a major impact on the field. By using innovative spectroscopic approaches and pushing experimental limits, he can tackle some of the most challenging problems in contemporary condensed matter physics. Starting with photoemission spectroscopy of electron doped cuprates, he investigated fluctuation effects in high-Tc superconductors and electrodynamic properties of topological insulators. Most recently he developed high-precision THz polarimetry and THz ellipsometry in order to study quantum correlated matter.

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.

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 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 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 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 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.

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