Federico Capasso is the Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics at Harvard University, which he joined in 2003 after a 26 year career at Bell Labs where he rose from postdoc to Vice President for Physical Research. He holds a Doctor of Physics degree from the University of Rome, Italy, 1973. His research includes the quantum design of new artificially structured materials and devices, plasmonics, nanophotonics, nanomechanics and the investigation of quantum electrodynamical phenomena such as the Casmir effect. He is co-inventor of the quantum cascade laser, a fundamentally new light source, which has now been commercialized.
He has co-authored over 300 papers, edited four volumes, and holds over 65 US patents. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of OSA, IEEE, SPIE, APS and AAAS. His awards include the King Faisal International Prize for Science, the American Physical Society Arthur Schawlow Prize, the IEEE Edison Medal, the IEEE/LEOS Streifer Award, the Wetherill Medal of the Franklin Institute, the OSA Robert Wood prize, the Rank Prize in Optoelectronics, the Material Research Society Medal, the IEEE D. Sarnoff Award, the Welker Medal, the Duddell Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics (UK), the Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.