Frank Isakson Prize for Optical Effects in Solids

To recognize outstanding optical research that leads to breakthroughs in the condensed matter sciences. The prize consists of $5,000, an allowance for travel to the meeting of the Society at which the prize is being presented and a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient. The prize is awarded biennially in even-numbered years as a memorial to Frank Isakson.

Establishment & Support

The prize was established in 1979 and supported by the Photoconductivity Conference. Starting in 1994, the prize was supported by Solid State Communications (Elsevier).

Rules & Eligibility

Nominations are open to scientists of all nations regardless of the geographical site at which the work was done. The prize shall ordinarily be awarded to one person, but the prize may be shared among recipients when all recipients have contributed to the same accomplishment. Preference will be given to work that has been published within the past 10 years. Nominations are active for three years.

Nomination & Selection Process

Deadline: Friday, June 30, 2017

The nomination package must include:

  • A letter of not more than 5,000 characters evaluating the qualifications of the nominee(s).

In addition, the nomination should include:

  • A biographical sketch.
  • A list of the most important publications.
  • At least two, but not more than four, seconding letters.
  • Up to five reprints or preprints.

To start a new or update a continuing nomination, please see the Prize & Award Nomination Guidelines.

2018 Selection Committee MembersTBD


Serving a diverse and inclusive community of physicists worldwide is a primary goal for APS. Nominations of qualified women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and scientists from outside the United States are especially encouraged.

2016 Recipients

David Burnham Tanner
University of Florida, Gainesville

Dirk van der Marel
University of Geneva

Past Recipients

2014: Naomi Halas
          Peter Nordlander
          Tony Heinz
2012: Dmitri Basov
2010: Duncan Steel
2008: Joseph Orenstein
          Zeev Valentine Vardeny
2006: Roberto Merlin
2004: James Wolfe
2002: James W. Allen
          Thomas Timusk
2000: Paul Linford Richards
1998: Yuen-Ron Shen
1996: David E. Aspnes
1994: Anant K. Ramdas
1992: Paul A. Fleury
1990: Miles V. Klein
1988: Albert J. Sievers
1986: Elias Burstein
1984: Manuel Cardona
1982: Jan Tauc
1980: David L. Dexter