Hugo Zbinden awarded 2016 Heinrich-Greinacher Prize

Bern – November 30th 2016

Prof. Hugo Zbinden, co-founder of ID Quantique, has been awarded the 2016 Heinrich-Greinacher prize from the Physical Institute of the University of Bern. The award was granted in recognition of his ground-breaking work in the fields of quantum optics and quantum cryptography.

On one hand, the award reflects Prof. Hugo Zbinden’s fundamental scientific work in the field of quantum optics and the non-locality of entangled photons. Specifically, his contribution to the development of single photon detectors in the frequency range used for commercial optical fibre networks and the implications this has for the practical application of quantum communications.

The prize also recognises the great strides made in applying quantum physical theory to the development of real-world quantum cryptography applications, which have been successfully commercialised and marketed by ID Quantique.

When assessing Prof. Zbinden’s nomination, the awards committee acknowledged the nominee demonstrated “both a sound physical understanding and the vision to realize his findings for practical applications in everyday life”.

About Prof. Zbinden

Hugo Zbinden is a pioneer in practical QKD in optical fibres. He is co-inventor of the plug & play QKD system and co-founder of ID Quantique.

He was born in 1961 and studied physics at the University of Bern. In 1991 he obtained his PhD for his work on rare-earth solid-state lasers; before going on to develop high-power diode-pumped Nd:YAG lasers for industrial applications.

In 1993 he joined the group of applied physics of the University of Geneva and since then has been leading the group’s experimental activities. His research has spanned various areas from optical sensors, single photon detectors, quantum communication and the foundations of quantum mechanics. He was appointed MER (Maître d’Enseignement et de Recherche) in 2003 and Associate Professor in 2012.

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