The EPS-QEOD Quantum Electronics and Optics Prizes:

The 2021 EPS-QEOD Quantum Electronics Prize for fundamental aspects is awarded to Miles Padgett, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom, for pioneering and wide-ranging research on the fundamentals and applications of optical angular momentum.


Miles Padgett is a Royal Society Research Professor and holds the Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow in the UK. His research team, covers all things optical from the basic ways in which light behaves as it pushes and twists through the world around us, to the application of new optical techniques in imaging and sensing. They are currently using the classical and quantum properties of light to explore: the laws of quantum physics in accelerating frames, microscopes that see through noise, structured light that overcomes diffraction-limited resolution and endoscopes the width of a human hair.

2023 EPS-QEOD Quantum Electronics and Optics Prizes

The 2023 EPS-QEOD Quantum Electronics and Optics Prize for fundamental aspects is awarded to Vahid Sandoghdar, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen, Germany, for ground-breaking research on the efficiency of light-matter interaction in quantum optics and biophysics, leading to single-molecule strong coupling and label-free detection of small proteins.


Vahid Sandoghdar was born in Tehran, Iran and obtained his B.S. and Ph.D in physics from the University of California in Davis and Yale University. After a postdoc at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, he moved to the University of Konstanz in Germany and started a new line of research to combine single molecule spectroscopy, scanning probe microscopy and quantum optics. In 2001, he became full professor at ETH Zurich. In 2011, he was appointed director at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light and Alexander von Humboldt Professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Sandoghdar has pioneered the field of Nano-Optics to investigate and exploit nanometer-scale interaction of light and matter within a broad scope, ranging from quantum optics to biophotonics.

The 2023 EPS-QEOD Quantum Electronics and Optics Prize for applied aspects is awarded to Giulio Cerullo, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy, for pioneering and outstanding contributions to the generation of few-cycle light pulses and for their application to the study of primary photoinduced processes in (bio)molecules and nanostructures.

Giulio Cerullo is a Full Professor with the Physics Department, Politecnico di Milano, where he leads the Ultrafast Optical Spectroscopy laboratory. His research activity focuses on the generation of tunable few-optical-cycle light pulses and on their application to the study of primary photoinduced processes in molecules, nanostructures and two-dimensional materials. He has published more than 500 papers which have received over 28000 citations. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, of the European Physical Society, a member of the Accademia dei Lincei and past Chair of the Quantum Electronics and Optics Division of the European Physical Society. He has been General Chair of the conferences CLEO/Europe 2017, Ultrafast Phenomena 2018 and International Conference on Raman Spectroscopy 2022.

2023 Fresnel Prizes

The 2023 Fresnel Prize for fundamental aspects is awarded to Xiaochun Gong, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China, for outstanding contributions to the field of attosecond science and for developing attosecond coincidence metrology to ultrafast photonics.

Xiaochun Gong received his Ph.D. in physics from East China Normal University of Shanghai, China, in 2017, with a thesis on Probing the ultrafast ionization and dissociation dynamics of molecules in strong laser fields. He performed his post-doc research at ETH Zürich, where he started his attosecond science research by constructing a new attosecond coincidence interferometer to realize the attosecond timing of local electron emission in small, size-resolved water. After that, he returned back to ECNU. Currently, he is a professor in charge of attosecond science development, and his main research interest is the development of attosecond metrology through 3D-momenta and optical spectroscopy to probe and control the ultrafast electron dynamics from atoms molecules to clusters and even condensed matter.

The 2023 Fresnel Prize for applied aspects is awarded to Zuo Chao, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Jiangsu, China, for pioneering contributions to computational phase imaging and metrology, particularly for noninterferometic quantitative phase imaging and high-speed 3D optical metrology.

Zuo Chao is a professor in optical engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology (NJUST), China. He leads the Smart Computational Imaging Laboratory (SCILab: and is also the director of the Smart Computational Imaging Research Institute of NJUST. He has long been engaged in the development of novel Computational Imaging and Measurement technologies, with a focus on Phase Measuring Imaging Metrology. He has published >200 peer-reviewed articles with over 12,000 citations. These researches have been featured on journal cover (including Light, Optica, LPR, PhotoniX, AP, etc.) over 30 times. He currently serves as an Associate Editor of PhotoniX and OLEN. He is a Fellow of SPIE and Optica, and listed as a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher.

The EPS-QEOD Thesis Prizes:

The 2023 EPS-QEOD Thesis Prize for fundamental aspects is awarded to Andrea Schirato, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy, for having introduced spatially-resolved models for the hot carrier ultrafast dynamics and inherent photothermal nonlinearities, disclosing nonequilibrium regimes so far unexplored in nanophotonics.

Andrea Schirato is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Physics of Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi, Italy), currently visiting scholar at Rice University (Houston, TX), after having received his Ph.D. with note of merit in 2022 from PoliMi and the Italian Institute of Technology (Genoa, Italy) under the supervision of Profs. G. Della Valle and R. Proietti Zaccaria. He previously obtained his double-MSc cum laude in Engineering Physics across PoliMi and École Centrale Paris in 2019, and his BSc across PoliMi and Paris-Sud University (France) in 2018. His research activities focus on the theoretical study and numerical modelling of ultrafast photothermal phenomena driven by light-induced hot carriers, including out-of-equilibrium electronic nonlinearities and energy transfer in nanostructured materials and metasurfaces.

The 2023 EPS-QEOD Thesis Prize for fundamental aspects is awarded to Shima Rajabali, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland, for his thesis investigating the limits of interaction between light and matter at terahertz frequencies in a highly light-matter coupled system shrunk to the nanoscale.

Title of the thesis: Ultrafast Ultrastrong light-matter coupling at the nanoscale

Shima Rajabali is a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, specializing in integrated lithium niobate photonics for wireless communications. She has been awarded two postdoctoral fellowships, the Harvard Quantum Initiative and the Swiss National Science Foundation. Shima earned her Ph.D. from ETH Zurich, Switzerland in December 2021, where she focused on exploring the ultrastrong interaction between light and matter at terahertz frequencies at the nanoscale. Her research led to the discovery of a physical limit to increasing coupling strength and the development of an innovative confocal system to resolve the far-field transmission of a single subwavelength meta-atom. After her Ph.D., as a postdoctoral researcher at EPFL, she worked on “Lithium Niobate-based on-chip spectroscopy.” Shima obtained her BSc and MSc in Electronics from the University of Tehran, Iran.

Applied Aspects:

The 2023 EPS-QEOD Thesis Prize for fundamental aspects is awarded to Gur Lubin, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, for introducing a new type of spectroscopy, Heralded Spectroscopy, and applying it to reveal hitherto inaccessible photophysics of multiple-photon quantum emitters.

Title of the thesis: Heralded Spectroscopy - a new probe for nanocrystal multiexciton photophysics.

Gur Lubin received his Ph.D. in physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2023 under the mentorship of Prof. Dan Oron. His doctorate pioneered a novel experimental method, Heralded Spectroscopy, revealing hidden aspects of nanocrystal light-matter interaction and supporting unprecedented access to investigating quantum few-photon sources. For his contributions to the field Gur has been awarded several prizes, including the Dostrovsky Excellence Prize and the SPIE - Pico Quant Young Investigator Award. Gur's work lies at the confluence of quantum optics, nanophotonics, and spectroscopy, especially their integration to provide a deeper photophysical understanding of quantum light emitters.

The 2023 EPS-QEOD Thesis Prize for applied aspects is awarded to Sebastian Ecker, Quantum Technology Laboratories GmbH, Vienna, Austria, for theoretical and experimental investigations of the use of high-dimensional quantum information encoding to improve entanglement distribution in the presence of noise and loss.

Title of the thesis: Noise-resilient entanglement distribution in high-dimensional state spaces

Sebastian Ecker earned his master’s degree at the TU Vienna in Technical Physics, where he studied high-dimensional entanglement distribution over intra-city free-space links in the group of Rupert Ursin under the supervision of Anton Zeilinger. He then enrolled at the University of Vienna for his PhD, which he conducted at the IQOQI Vienna in the group of Rupert Ursin under the supervision of Marcus Huber. His PhD thesis is devoted to noise-resilient entanglement distribution using high-dimensional quantum states. He has been involved in several experimental feasibility studies involving terrestrial free-space links and participated in the 77th ESA Parabolic Flight Campaign. Towards the end of his PhD, he acted as visiting scientist for the ESA, where he identified future quantum technologies for space-based QKD. He currently works at Quantum Technology Laboratories GmbH (qtlabs) as senior scientist and consultant.