2015 Holweck Medal
The Institute of Physics (IOP) and the French Society of Physics (SFP) have awarded the 2015 Holweck Prize to Professor Ledoux-Rak, professor of physics at ENS Paris-Saclay, at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.
Isabelle Ledoux-Rak is a member of the Photonics Components and Technologies team at ENS Paris-Saclay's Quantum and Molecular Photonics Laboratory.
The award has been made to Prof. Ledoux-Rak for her pioneering contributions to our understanding of the nonlinear optical properties of metal complexes and demonstration of optical amplification phenomena at telecom wavelengths in polymer optical waveguides.
Her research focuses on the study of the structure-properties relationships of molecules, materials and nanostructures for non-linear optics, in view of applications in optical signal processing for optical communications and sensors.
Most of her work has been carried out in partnership with Joseph Zyss, who has played a pioneering role in the field, first at the Centre National d'Études des Télécommunications from 1983 to 1998, then at the Quantum and Molecular Photonics Laboratory until the present day.
Her current projects concern the nonlinear optical properties of metal nanoparticles in solution.
She focuses more specifically on the influence of their shape and the nature of the metal, and on developing ultrasensitive optofluidic sensors and their application for a better understanding of certain chemical or biochemical mechanisms.
She is also helping develop optofluidic devices used as ultrasensitive sensors in aqueous solution (in collaboration with Chi Thanh Nguyen, head of the Photonics Components and Technologies team).
Prof. Ledoux-Rax is passionate about her field of research and explains that "the most significant progress concerns both the development of nanosciences, especially the emergence of nanoplasmonics, and developments at the interface between the engineering and life sciences".
The Holweck Medal and Prize was instituted jointly by the Physical Society of London and the Société Française de Physique in 1945 as a memorial to eminent French physicist Fernand Holweck (1890-1941), well known for his research among the scientists of the allied nations, who was tortured and killed by the Gestapo for his resistance efforts during the occupation of France.
Intended to maintain friendly ties between English and French physicists, the prize is awarded in odd-dated years to a physicist based in France and presented in the UK or Ireland, and in even-dated years to a physicist based in the UK or Ireland and presented in France.