Introducing Claire Gmachl: New Eyes for the World, or How to Make Life Easier through Electrical Engineering

bridges vol. 4, December 2004 / News from the Network

by Jutta Kern

Gmachl_Claire_captionGmachl_Claire_captionPopular Science, a magazine reaching some eight million readers, recently named Claire Gmachl as one of the "Brilliant 10." This recognition goes out to young researchers whose work promises exceptional research results that will change our lives. Gmachl, associate professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University in New Jersey since 2003, was specifically recognized for her work on quantum-cascade lasers, devices that she developed during her work with Bell Labs beginning in 1996.

Being just about two millimeters in length and less than one-tenth the thickness of a human hair, these devices can be utilized for environmental, medical or security applications. Whether detecting traces of explosives at airports, measuring toxic emissions or allowing patients to take their medical respiratory masks home with them, Gmachl's quantum-cascade lasers clearly prove that her focus as a university professor is on "inventing things that help make life easier."


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