Professor Alexey Kavokin, the Head of the Spin Optics Laboratory of St Petersburg University, has become the first Russian scientist ever to be awarded the Quantum Devices Award. This award is given for innovative contributions in the field of complex semiconductor devices and devices with quantum nanostructures. Because of the global pandemic the awards ceremony will take place next year – during Compound Semiconductor Week 2021 in Sweden.

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The Organising Committee has pointed out that the prize was awarded to Alexey Kavokin for predicting Bose-Einstein exciton and excitonic polaron condensation at room temperature. This has led to the creation of polariton lasers. Polariton lasers consume several times less energy than a conventional semiconductor laser. Most importantly, they can be used to create qubits, basic elements of quantum computers of the future. These technologies make a significant contribution to quantum computing systems.

'Russia is one of the world leaders in polaritonics, a field of physics studying light and material quasi-particles, or liquid light. On the basis of liquid light, we are developing polariton lasers – devices that can bring our country a victory in the race of quantum technologies. While the American giants Google and IBM are investing billions in quantum technologies based on superconductors, we are pursuing a much cheaper and potentially more promising path by developing a polariton platform for quantum computing. For me, this award is evidence that our efforts in the field of quantum polaritonics have been recognised by the international scientific community,' said Alexey Kavokin.

The Quantum Devices Award was founded in 2000 by Fujitsu Quantum Devices Ltd., affiliated with Fujitsu, a major Japanese electronics manufacturer and IT company. Today, the award is funded by the Japanese section of the steering committee of the International Symposium on Compound Semiconductors (ISCS) along with two other prestigious scientific awards – The Welker Award and The Young Scientist Award. It should be noted that the Quantum Devices Award was previously conferred on scientists from Germany, Japan, Switzerland, the UK and many other countries, but it is the first time that the award has been received by a scientist from Russia.

Alexey Kavokin heads the Spin Optics Laboratory of St Petersburg University and the Quantum Polaritonics group at the Russian Quantum Centre. He is also a Professor at the University of Southampton (UK), where he heads the Department of Nanophysics and Photonics. In 2011, he won a mega-grant from the Government of the Russian Federation, as part of which the I.N. Uraltsev Spin Optics Laboratory was established. In 2018, the Professor headed the International Centre for Polaritonics at the Westlake University in China.