Pablo Jarillo-Herrero receives the Lise Meitner Distinguished Lecture and Medal

Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics, was awarded the Lise Meitner Distinguished Lecture and Medal, for his groundbreaking work on “twistronics,” a technique that adjusts the electronic properties of graphene by rotating adjacent layers of the material.

His breakthrough research in twisted bilayer graphene research discovered unique electrical properties with the potential to create innovative superconducting materials and novel quantum devices for advanced quantum sensing, photonics, and computing applications. 

The medal, sponsored by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences through its Nobel Committee for Physics, recognizes the work by Jarillo-Herrero and his group that helped launch a new field: strongly correlated physics in 2D moiré superlattices.

“Pablo’s work has really changed the way physicists think about materials and it has created a great opportunity for theorists to develop new ideas,” says Peter Fisher, professor and head of MIT’s Department of Physics.

Jarillo-Herrero will give his lecture and receive his medal at the annual colloquium-style event at AlbaNova University Center in Stockholm, at a date to be determined next year. The lecture commemorates Lise Meitner, an Austrian-Swedish physicist who contributed to the discoveries of the element protactinium and nuclear fission.  

“The list of previous recipients is very distinguished,” Jarillo-Herrero says, noting fellow recipients including Nobel Prize winners Frank Wilczek, the MIT physics professor who was the first recipient of the prize, in 2015, and Princeton University’s Duncan Haldane in 2017. “So for me it’s a great, and humbling, honor to see my name in the same list!”

The Jarillo-Herrero Group explores quantum transport in novel condensed matter systems such as graphene and topological insulators.   

A native of Valencia, Spain, Jarillo-Herrero joined MIT as an assistant professor of physics in 2008, where he received tenure in 2015, and was promoted to full professor of physics in 2018.

In October he received the RSEF Medal, the highest scientific recognition of the Spanish Royal Physics Society. Other awards include an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship; a David and Lucile Packard Fellowship; a DoE Early Career Award; a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers; an ONR Young Investigator Award; a Moore Foundation Experimental Physics in Quantum Systems Investigator Award; The Physics World 2018 Breakthrough of the Year; the 2020 Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize; and the 2020 Wolf Prize in Physics. In 2018, Jarillo-Herrero was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society.

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