Scientific career Albert Polman
Albert Polman is a scientific group leader and director of the FOM-Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics, a research laboratory of the Dutch Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He is associated with the University of Amsterdam as a professor of photovoltaics. Polman was elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW) in 2009.
Polman is one of the pioneers of the research field of nanophotonics: the control, understanding, and application of light at the nanoscale. Polman's research group specializes in fundamental studies at the interface between optical physics and materials science, and has regularly demonstrated transfer of knowledge to applied concepts.
Polman received his master's degree in physics (1985) and his Ph.D. degree in physics (1989) from the University of Utrecht. From 1989 to 1991 he was a post-doctoral staff researcher at AT&T Bell Laboratories (Murray Hill, NJ). Since 1991 he has been associated with AMOLF, first as a group leader, since 1999 also as a department head. From 1996-2011 he was associated with the University of Utrecht as a professor of nanophotonics. In 2005 he initiated the Center for Nanophotonics at AMOLF; in 2006 he was appointed as director of AMOLF. Polman was one of the initiators of the Amsterdam nanoCenter, a regional facility for nanofabrication founded in 2003. From March 2003 - February 2004 he was on sabbatical leave at CALTECH, where he was a research associate in the group of Prof. H.A. Atwater.
Polman's main research interest is to control light at the nanoscale. His group studies the propagation, dispersion and confinement of light in metallic nanostructures using surface plasmons. Furthermore, his group studies optical metamaterials: artificially made materials with engineered permittivity and permeability, that posses a negative index of refraction. Part of Polman's research focusses on using nanophotonic insights to improve the efficiency of thin-film solar cells.
Polman's group has published over 200 articles in international journals and 80 conference proceedings, filed 10 patent applications, and has given over 100 invited talks at international conferences, several as plenary or keynote speaker. Polman's articles received more than 11.000 citations; his field-averaged citation impact factor is 5.18 times the world average and his Hirsch index 58.
Polman is member of the Executive Board of NanoNextNL, a 125 M€ national nanoscience and technology program, program manager of the Nanophotonics program of the Dutch National Nanotechnology Program NANONED, program manager of the FOM Program Nanophotovoltaics, member of the Program Committee for the FOM-Shell program on Third generation solar cells, member of the Steering committe of the FOM-Philips Industrial Partership Program Improved solid state light sources, and member of the Steering Committee of the yearly national conference Physics@ FOM Veldhoven.
Polman is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of NanoLetters (Americal Chemical Society), the Advisory Editorial Board of Physica B (Elsevier), the Scientific Advisory Board of the Leibnitz Research Center Rossendorf (Germany) and the Advisory Board of the Centre of Excellence for Advanced Silicon Photovoltaics and Photonics of the University of New South Wales (Australia.
In 2004-2005 Polman was an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Materials Research Society (Pittsburgh). In 2007 he was elected member of the Royal Dutch Society of Sciences (Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen), and in 2009 member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). In 2010 was was elected Fellow of the Materials Research Society.
Polman was chairman of the 11th International Conference on Ion Beam Modification of Materials in 1998 and served as secretary of the International Committee of IBMM until 2008. In 2008 he was appointed Honorary Member of the committee. He co-organized three symposia at meetings of the Materials Research Society, in 1994 (Boston), 1996 (San Francisco), and 1997 (San Francisco) and the European MRS in 2004 (Strasbourg). He was Volume Organizer (editor) for the year-2000 volume of MRS Bulletin. In April 2003 he served as one of the meeting chairs of the MRS Spring Meeting in San Francisco. Polman was chairman of the first Gordon Research Conference Plasmonics - optics at the nanoscale in 2006.
Albert Polman is married to the musicologist Dr. Philomeen Lelieveldt; they have two children, Philine (13), and Fabian (11), and he and Philomeen are active as singers in the chamber choir Vocaal Ensemble COQU.