Frank Isakson Prize for Optical Effects in Solids

To recognize outstanding optical research that lead 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: Thursday, June 1, 2023

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.

2023 Selection Committee Members: Zeev Vardeny (Chair), Lara Benfatto, Antoinette Taylor, Katalin Kamaras, Peter Abbamonte, David Tanner, and Frank Scheffold



The membership of APS is diverse and global, and the nominees and recipients of APS Honors should reflect that diversity so that all are recognized for their impact on our community. Nominations of members belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in physics, such as women, LGBT+ scientists, scientists who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), disabled scientists, scientists from institutions with limited resources, and scientists from outside the United States, are especially encouraged.

Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.

2024 Recipient

Feng Wang
University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Past Recipients

2022: Manfred Fiebig
2020: Robert W. Boyd
          Vladimir M. Shalaev
2018: Andrea Cavalleri
          Keith A. Nelson
2016: David Burnham Tanner
          Dirk van der Marel
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